Norman Mailer Of Blessed Memory at Yeshiva College in 1969

Anecdote: In 1969 I was president of the Young Democrats Club at Yeshiva College. We had chutzpah in our club and invited all the candidates running form mayor of New York City to address our student body. We had acceptances and speeches from Mario Proccacino, Bill Vanden Heuval, and of course Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin.

I remember the Mailer speech for one question that he answered after his address to a large student audience in Furst Hall. In predictable self-centered YU fashion, a student asked Norman if he had studied any Talmud. In absolutely the straightest face I can visualize, Mailer answered that indeed he had studied and continued to study the Talmud. In fact, he told his pious and naive audience, he kept the Talmud on his nightstand and read from it before retiring at night. After that answer, I adjourned the event.

Needless to say, Reb Norman Mailer's razor sharp ironic wit and honesty will be missed by us all.

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