All of this sounds absolutely gorgeous, and I have to say that Robert Israel Aumann has made me, (and it seems, Jews the world over), proud

By Dr. David Rosen

Respect is earned — ask our newest friends from the Swedish
Royal Family — inheritance helps, but what really counts is
one’s work and effort. When King Carl XVI Gustaf of the
House of Bernadotte took three steps back and bowed to
laureate Yisrael, his genius head crowned with a white
crocheted kippah — There was Respect.
The King’s Guard Trumpeters sounded from the high mezzanine
in front, and fellow trumpeters in the palatial distance
regally answered with notes seconding the honor. Even more
palpable was the thundering applause signifying the honor
this G-d fearing proud Jew engenders.
The Professor, who has recently been unceasingly dogged by
reporters, from all over the world, is constantly teaching
and enlightening by words of wisdom. As water pours from
royal Scandia crystal, our robust bard pours forth Torah.
Prof. Yisrael Aumann’s toast at the Nobel Banquet:
“Baruch Atah Adonai Elohainu Melech HaOlam HaTov v’HaMativ;
Blessed are you, God, our Lord, Monarch of the Universe, who
is good and does good.
After partaking of a meal with excellent wine, we recite
this benediction when we are served with a superb wine.
Your Royal Highness, we have, over the years, partaken of an
excellent wine. We have participated in the scientific
enterprise – studied and taught; preserved, and pushed
forward the boundaries of knowledge.
We have participated in the human enterprise – raised
beautiful families. And I have participated in the
realization of a 2000-year old dream – the return of my
people to Jerusalem, to its homeland.
And tonight, we have been served with a superb wine, in the
recognition of the worth of our enterprise.
I feel very strongly that this recognition is not only for
us, but for all game theory, in Israel and in the whole
world – teachers, students, colleagues, and co-workers. And
especially to one individual, who is no longer with us – the
mother of game theory, Oskar Morgenstern.
So, I offer my thanks to these, to the Nobel Foundation and
the Nobel Committee, to our magnificent hosts, the country
of Sweden, and the Lord, who is good and does good.”
The table settings of brand new gilded heavy silver & fresh
from the kiln china & recently blown gold-stemmed crystal
stood ready for our kosher pleasure.
The kosher sommelier stood behind us eager to direct his
retinue of white gloved and linen toweled wine stewards.
They were uniformed in burgundy red while the divisions of
waiters were clothed in epauletted white.
The Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation toasted
the laureates; the King of Sweden toasted our unseen
benefactor, Alfred Nobel. With the bubbles of the “Skoal”
{L’Chaim} still effervescing in our mouth, the attentive
waiters dramatically revealed the tender salad leaves hidden
in gold & green bordered covered bowls. This was just the
beginning. The Royal Banquet is scripted but secret, it is
the highlight of dark early winter. TV crews and reporters
stood in the pillared shadows; the media buildup in
Scandinavia is monumental.
Conversation, at first hesitant with our unknown table
neighbors (family and colleagues of laureates, integrated
man, woman, man) began to flow with the seemingly limitless
flow of fine kosher wines and very special kosher old pale
The very Swedish menu of rare snow-grouse-breast covered in
reindeer meat and forest herbs was NOT served to the 36 of
us. The kosher contingent enjoyed a much less gamy fare of
goose covered in fillet of beef. That tasty texture was
relished along with whole blanched green snow beans and
northern forest champignons in espagnole roux. Differential
change was geared by the partially processed, fried and then
baked, pommes de terre and slightly caramelized pommes de
The musical and visual interludes of choral singers bearing
cut forest flowers is apparently in the best tradition of
these long dark Northern nights. Collars and head
decorations of dainty baby’s breath, crocus, lilies, and other
delicate bulb petals feasted the eyes with pale yellows,
pinks and whites as the framboises arctiques artistically
contrasted the sorbet and then tickled the tongue.
The snowy, dark (sunlight merely from 8 to 3) & cool
reception (i.e. cold: -4 C) was more than balanced by the
wish and ability to please and accommodate. The helicopter
overhead, the athletic ear pieced ushers, the polished
stretch Volvo limousine drivers and the diplomatic
ever-accommodating Nobel attendant, Annika Klangstrom, have
all earned their keep! Annika knew the routine from last
year. The efficient and capable Ms. Klangstrom was one of
the first Swedish diplomats on the scene of the tsunami
where so many of her countrymen were lost. Although being a
Nobel attendant is a once-in-a-lifetime plum for a Swedish
diplomat, worthy Annika was awarded this honor two years in
a row.
The doormen, bellmen and housekeeping staff already know
more about the difficulties of electricity use on Shabbat
than most Europeans. The shatnez story, the prohibition of
Jews wearing weaved-together wool & linen, made for big
interest in the Swedish press & media, so much so, I think I
can safely say more Swedes know about shatnez than all the
other Europeans and Africans combined.
Yisrael’s contingent walked on Shabbat. The orthodox
community is in one direction, while the ChaBaD is exactly
opposite. The old synagogue and chader now reinvigorated by
the Lubavitchers is situated on the far side of a bridge
that spans the significant Malaren where it rushes into the
frigid Baltic. Afterwards, Kiddush was partaken in the
relatively close Jewish Community Center, attended by His
Excellency, the Israeli Ambassador (the Swedes know
protocol!) The Jewish community of Stockholm, while always
small, was given a Royal Charter way back in 1790. Today it
honors a Swede, a Righteous of the Nations Hero in a big
way. The JCC is adjacent to the twelve raw bronze sculptures
comprising the Raoul Wallenberg Square…the invisible
shield.”Who is Good and Does Good!”
While we no doubt have earned curiosity (and not a little
bit of envy) for our ideals over the last 4000 years,
in the last 6 days in Stockholm we witnessed the unfurling
of the azure Shield of David on a striped Tallis banner
flying high in the center of Stockholm — opposite the Royal
Palace – flying high and proudly proclaiming a respected
place along side the U.S. Stars & Stripes, the British Union
Jack, the Australian Southern Constellation, the vertical
stripes of France and the horizontal of Germany.
The exemplary life of Our Teacher, Yisrael ben Reb Shlomo –
may his days and years be lengthened – has given new honor
to the whole of Am Yisrael: Respect fit for a King.

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