When the Boxing Rabbi was about 16 or so, we rented a house in Marblehead, Mass for the summer. The owners had left a shelf of Reader’s Digest “Condensed Books” on one shelf, and to this bored, restless adolescent, it provided some diversion for what seemed an unending two months. During that summer, I must have read twenty novels or so, of which I can only recall two- “Seven Days in May” and “The Man” -which imagined a future when America had a black president. (In that novel, the only way a black man would become president was if the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House all died, which happens in the first five pages).
I mention this only because I read today that John E Walsh has died. Mr Walsh was the author of the Reader’s Digest Condensed Bible-which I never knew about because by the time it appeared we had switched rental homes.
According to his obituary, Mr Walsh eliminated about 40 percent of the Hebrew Bible and 25 percent of the New Testament. The goal was to make the Bible more accessible to readers. However, all ten commandments are still in there, so no need to rush out to grab a copy.