But by and large, despite those enticing pitches, adulthood turns out to mean acceptance -- of how you played the hand you were dealt, of mortality, of beshert -- even if it sometimes includes flashes of 40-f---ing-8-like fury at the way the world turns out to work.
Civil strife in Israel over Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan could cause new strains in the American Jewish community and accelerate the turning away from the pro-Israel cause, especially among younger Jews.
President George W. Bush is certainly putting his money where his mouth is. Last week, the State Department announced it will invest $25 million to promote democracy throughout the Arab world. The goals of the program, which will train political advocates, journalists and others, are economic reform and private sector development, education, promotion of civil society and respect for the rule of law.