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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. 14, 2011 9 Shevat, 5771

Obama Challenges America

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a speech of heartbreaking beauty and simplicity, in a speech that will long be remembered for the image of a 9-year-old girl splashing in a rain puddle in heaven, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that while we cannot remain passive in the face of violence, "what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another."

The tragedy of which he spoke was the shooting of 20 people Saturday in Tucson, Ariz., by a lone gunman. Six were killed and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Obama spoke at a memorial service at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where the largely student crowd whistled and applauded almost without stop, giving the event the atmosphere of a pep rally.

Yet Obama remained somber and used the speech not just for oratory but to assign the nation a difficult task.

"Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together," the president said.

Unfortunately, this seems one of the least likely results of the aftermath of the shooting. The divides in America's body politic seemed to deepen rather than heal in the days following the tragedy.

Sarah Palin, perhaps in an attempt to upstage the president — a fool's game — released Wednesday morning her own message to America. It was slick and carefully delivered, but the video sent the subliminal message that she was "in the bunker," hidden away from people, protected from the passions that are sweeping the nation.

And, assuming her true motivation was to tone down the volume, Palin made things worse, saying that journalists were creating a "blood libel" — a historic term accusing Jews of using the blood of murdered Christian babies in rituals.

Palin used the term as a warning to the media, saying that "within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."

Obama took a gentler tack. "I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness," he said, "and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

What we can do concretely as a nation, however, was not entirely clear from Obama's speech. Those who expected the championing of new gun control or mental health care legislation, for example, were disappointed.

In fact, Obama made clear he believed the nation was not ready for such a conversation.

"Much of this process of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government," he said. "But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do — it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds."

Which is a very frightening, though probably correct, analysis. Consider: The president of the United States believes that Americans are so unable even to talk to one another in a way that heals rather than wounds that we cannot yet address the critical issues of the day.

Obama did say that if "this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let's make sure it's worthy of those we have lost. Let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle."

Most of Obama's speech was on this plane, which made it even more dramatic when he spoke in hard, concrete terms. "We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload," Obama said. "We are grateful for a petite 61-year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer's ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives."

The alleged killer used an ammunition clip that held 33 rounds. Does the president favor a law banning such clips? He did not say, perhaps saving it for his State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, where it would be more appropriate.

Palin used her address to deny what many consider obvious: that our political rhetoric has become more heated. "But when was it less heated?" she asked. "Back in those 'calm days' when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols?"

Dueling was not that common, however, and many duels were ended without firing a shot. More importantly, however, dueling was carried out with single-shot, muzzle-loading pistols, not modern semiautomatic weapons that can mow down more than two dozen people without reloading.

Terrible acts of gun violence occur nearly every day in this country. Why is this act being treated differently? Because a member of Congress is among the wounded and because our political fabric seems strained to the breaking point.

This requires the words of a president to begin the healing, and President Obama delivered those words Wednesday.

Now we will have to wait and see whether he follows up the words with actions.

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