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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2003 / 29 Teves, 5764

What Pharaoh can teach us about being stubborn

By Rabbi Berel Wein


A lesson for sophisticates


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Many people are stubborn. Stubbornness, tenacity, purposefulness are all ambivalent characteristics. They can be positive and constructive traits under certain circumstances and they can be terribly destructive and negative under others.


Pharaoh has his heart hardened by G-d and refuses to let the people of Israel leave Egyptian slavery. But G-d only gives Pharaoh the courage of his convictions. Pharaoh sincerely does not wish to allow the Jews to leave his bondage and he is prepared to be very stubborn about it.


Ordinarily, Pharaoh's stubbornness would hardly be tested. But with plagues raining down on Egypt, Pharaoh is sorely tested. Even his advisers, who had until now supported Pharaoh's stubbornness fully, finally are brought to their knees by the blows falling upon Egypt. They tell Pharaoh, "Do you not realize that Egypt is lost?"


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But Pharaoh himself remains unconvinced. And his stubbornness affects Moshe and the Jewish people. There is an apparent wavering of faith among the Jews. Maybe they will never be redeemed. Perhaps Moses' promises are only dreams that will never become actualized. Facing a stubborn and intractable foe weakens one's resolve and saps the belief of triumph that is so necessary for the achievement of victory. So Pharaoh looks like a winner after all. But Pharaoh eventually will not only bend, he will break. Stubbornness is not necessarily synonymous with martyrdom.


When Pharaoh himself faces the Angel of Death on the night of Passover, he relents and frees the Jewish people. But he will turn stubborn again when he feels that the odds are in his favor. For he is not convinced of the power or rectitude of Moshe's mission and of the G-d of Israel. He will therefore pursue his stubborn course till its bitter and unnecessary end in the deep waters of the Red Sea. Pharaoh thus becomes the paradigm for all those tyrants and megalomaniacs who have followed him throughout the centuries.


The past century especially has spawned this breed of cruel stubbornness in earnest and in numbers. From the Kaiser to Hitler, from Lenin and Stalin to Chairman Mao, from the Grand Mufti to Sadaam Hussein and Yassir Arafat the imitators of Pharaoh are clear to see. Stubbornness in the name of evil, in the cause of conquest and hatred of others, is a very negative and dangerous trait. It destroys many innocent people but eventually it destroys the stubborn person as well.

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Evil is an infection of the soul. Unless it is fought and controlled it will ravage the entire body. But you will say, "Is not the secret of Jewish survival somehow rooted in our own stubbornness?" And the answer to that must be "yes." But there is stubbornness and stubbornness. The stubbornness of morality, of kindness, of Sinai and its basic commandments for our civilization (one of which has become particularly public and pertinent in our political and governmental lives) and of commitment to do the right and the just, is an admirable quality.


Thus, a truly sophisticated and intelligent Jew is stubborn and flexible at the same time. In worldly matters, in the marketplace, in the tactics of home and family and education, flexibility is the watchword. "Do it my way or don't do it all," is a dangerous policy in everyday living. Openness to others and to new ideas and situations guarantees greater success and accomplishment in the world.


Parents who are flexible and not rigid in the management of their home will usually see happier results from their children. But in matters of the spirit and soul, in issues of ethics and morality, in the defense of the code and traditions of Sinai, stubbornness and backbone are the traits required for success. "But everyone is doing it," is the refrain that is used to justify negative and costly conduct. One must have the strength to say "not everyone, not me, not us, not our family, not the Jewish people." The Jewish world is reeling from a lack of stubbornness regarding the vital issues of the Jewish world — Torah (Bible), observance, the Land of Israel, Torah education, family and Jewish grandchildren. It has too much flexibility regarding these issues. It is far too stubborn regarding defending current politically correct and slogan — prone issues. Pharaoh exemplifies the wrong stubbornness. Moses represents the correct stubbornness. We should certainly attempt to be the followers of Moses.

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Rabbi Berel Wein is one of Jewry's foremost historians and founder of the Destiny Foundation. He has authored over 650 tapes, books and videos which you can purchase at RabbiWein.com. Comment by clicking here or calling 1-800-499-WEIN (9346).

© 2004, Rabbi Berel Wein