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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

Noah Redux

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson


Artist's rendering of "Ark Hotel"





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it, Alexander Remizov is taking no chances. Amidst rising concerns that global warming will produce rising sea levels from melting polar icecaps, Mr. Remizov's architectural studio has teamed up with the International Union of Architects to produce a modern incarnation of Noah's ark.

Still on the drawing board, the "Ark Hotel" will be a football-field-size floating biosphere, protecting passengers against every kind of hazard from earthquakes to tidal waves while providing a self-sustaining greenhouse environment that collects rainwater, processes solar energy, and grows its own food.

Quoted in the London's Daily Mail, Mr. Remizov explains, "For architecture there are two major concerns. The first is maintenance of security and precautions against extreme environmental conditions and climate changes. The second one is protection of natural environment from human activities." In other words, the designers intend to exploit the limits of modern technology to keep the dangers of the outside world out as they maintain a viable, natural environment within.

In comparison, the original ark that saved Noah and his family from the Great Flood was distinctly low-tech. 300 cubits long (about 450 feet), 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high, Noah's ark was little more than a big box, with the top level for people and supplies, the middle level for animals, and the lower level for waste. But what the first ark lacked in technology, it more than made up for through divine intervention.

From its very inception, the ark was a conveyance dependent entirely upon miracles. Clearly, Noah needed miraculous assistance to build the ark single-handed. He needed miraculous protection from the wicked people who first sought to kill him and later attempted to enter the ark by force. Neither could Noah have rounded up every species of animal through natural means, nor could he have kept them under control which cleaning and feeding them for an entire year.

Without miracles, the food Noah gathered for the voyage would have gone rotten long before the first raindrop fell. So too, as the "wellsprings of the deep" bubbled up from underground and turned the oceans boiling hot, all the fish in the seas would have died and the tar that sealed the exterior of the ark would have melted away and rendered the ark unseaworthy.

These kinds of questions can multiply without limit, but the answer is obvious: the project would have been doomed from the start if the Almighty had not infused every step of the process with miracles.

However, this raises a different question: if in any case Noah's efforts could not save him, why did the Almighty require him to work so hard? Why did G-d not simply provide Noah with the means of miraculous salvation and spare him so much hardship?

THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES
Imagine that two long-lost friends are separated by a wide crevasse. Shouting across the open distance, they decide to build a bridge, each working from his own side in order to meet in the middle. One man works diligently until he has constructed his half of the bridge, only to discover that his friend began the other side of the project but then gave up for no apparent reason. Despite all the first man's labors, there remains a gap between the two sections as impassable as if neither man had done any work at all. Disgusted by his friend's lack of commitment, the first man abandons the project and turns away.


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Similarly, the Almighty could have done all of Noah's work for him. But the purpose of Creation is for mankind to work, to toil, and to struggle toward becoming a partner with the Creator, who has imbued us with the intellect and ability to accomplish extraordinary feats. And when we come up short, G-d will pick up the slack and make up the difference, provided we have done our very best beforehand.

The Hebrew word for "miracle" is neis, which translates literally as "banner." Like a flag held high above the fray, a miracle seizes our attention and forces us to take notice. In truth, every detail of our world is a miracle, but the familiarity of nature conceals the wonders of Creation behind the illusion of randomness. Only by cultivating the sensitivity to recognize the hidden miracles that surround us can we keep the goal in our sights and remain resolute in our mission.

TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Through the narrative of Noah's ark, the Torah teaches us the all-important lesson that nature and miracle are one, and that our efforts earn us the success born of divine intervention, even if the miracles wrought for us remain concealed by the appearance of natural cause and effect.

In the aftermath of the Great Flood, a new generation of mankind attempted a different kind of project: a massive tower that would rise up in testimony to the accomplishments of man and evoke such awe that all memory of the Creator would fade from the consciousness of the human race. For all their schemes and labors, the Almighty intervened and took away their common language, confounding their efforts and compelling them to abandon their objective.

It was with this in mind that King David exclaimed, "These rely upon their chariots, and those rely upon their horses, but we call out in the name of the L-rd, our G-d. They have stumbled and fallen, while we remain upright and have prevailed."

The person who expects G-d to do everything for him is fundamentally no different from the person who believes he can do anything without G-d. The design of Creation is for man to work in partnership with the Almighty, to use his G-d given talents and resources toward the fulfillment of his potential, while remembering always that success or failure resides in the hands of the One above.

Whether or not we are truly in dangers from melting icecaps and rising seas will likely be debated by climatologists for years to come. But as we find ourselves in an increasingly unpredictable world, our spiritual survival demands that we not attempt to seal ourselves off and sail away toward some distant horizon. Rather, our future depends upon raising our eyes in search of the banner of Creation and building a bridge across the abyss back toward the source of all.


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JWR contributor Rabbi Yonason Goldson teaches at Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, MO, where he also writes and lectures. He is author of Dawn to Destiny: Exploring Jewish History and its Hidden Wisdom, an overview of Jewish philosophy and history from Creation through the compilation of the Talmud, now available from Judaica Press. Visit him at http://torahideals.com .






© 2010, Rabbi Yonason Goldson