There were two men who reminded me of my father: Leonard Nimoy and J. Robert Oppenheimer. As a teenager I conflated the three of them so much that I think I may have intertwined details of their lives and thoughts with that of my real dad.
I of course came to know Nimoy through Spock, but it was never Spock that I was thinking of. It was always Nimoy.
And after I did a project on the Manhattan Project for History in high school, I definitely conflated Oppy with my dad. So essentially I have these three Jewish men in my life who were all one great big mixed-up father figure. I look back now and just shake my head — who knows that goes in the human heart that it recognizes something essential about three completely different individuals? Is it culture — or another quality that is brought out by that culture?
Here’s to Edward Noah Sarath, Leonard Nimoy, and Oppy. Jewish men, changing the world.