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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 Jan. 9, 2014/ 8 Shevat, 5774

Another year, another time to marvel at existence

By Mary Schmich



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Almost every day for the past year I've woken up with the same startled thought:

I'm alive.

Sometimes I lie there and say it aloud, though not on purpose. The words just pop out, as uninvited as a snore.

I'm alive.

I open my eyes and look at the room. It's here. I'm here. Again. Huh. Interesting.

The curtain rises on the mystery of another day.

This "I'm alive" thing started happening just after my brother Bill died, three days into 2013. Nothing puts your own mortality into perspective like the death of someone who is approximately your age, especially if it's someone you love.

My brother was a year younger than I am, with a wife he adored and two sons he hadn't finished raising, facts to which the universe was impervious. As we sat holding hands on his living room sofa last New Year's Eve, gazing at the tabletop Christmas tree with the lights we'd strung on it together, I knew we were ringing in his last new year.

I think he knew it, too, but making it to the new year seemed to matter to him. He fought to get that far, in defiance of medical predictions, hanging on, I sensed, because he wanted to cross the threshold one more time, into the fresh territory of January.

New year, new hope. We're bred to believe in the power of the calendar.

Bill got three mornings after last New Year's Eve to wake up to the daylight and think, "I'm alive."

So now when I wake up, I involuntarily think it, and though that might sound sad, that's not how the thought comes to me. It's more an intrigued observation, the way you might feel when you see a bird glide across the sky.

Wow. Amazing. Where did that bird come from? Where is it going?

Where did this day come from? Where is it going?



These kinds of questions -- about time, life, the elusive truth of it all -- are often snapped into sharp focus with the start of each new year. We may not perceive them as questions, but the frenzy of organizing and resolving that accompanies a new year is how we deal with the questions, trying to tame time through the force of will.

If we can just make it to another January, we can correct course, right what's wrong, permanently tidy up the sock drawer.

So we make resolutions:

Walk more. Sit less.

More sleep. Less caffeine.

More kale. Fewer Snickers bars.

More music. Less Facebook.

Less spending. More giving.

Get rid of the unmatched socks.

Along with making resolutions, some of us beat back the cosmic questions with fresh calendars.

Even in an era of online calendars, there's still a market for the old-fashioned paper kind, one with pages that can be touched and flipped and marked on, manual exertions that bolster the illusion that we are in control of the slippery thing called life.

My 2014 calendar is lying on the dining table, ready for action. It's an "Arts and Crafts" calendar featuring block prints by Gustave Baumann, Walter J. Phillips and William S. Rice. I bought it partly because the art is pleasing and partly because it was 50 percent off.

Now it sits open to the first page for January, across from an image called "Little Log House," a 1926 woodcut that depicts a cabin in a snowfield, under a gray sky, surrounded by bare trees. Bleak winter made tender and uplifting.

Following that page is a procession of days that haven't happened yet, on shiny pages filled with blank spaces for life still to come, marked by the occasional notification of events that will occur regardless of the calendar owner's plans.

Mardi Gras (March 4). Daylight saving time (March 9). A Northern Ireland bank holiday (July 14). The autumnal equinox (Sept. 23).

The calendar marches through them all, all the way to January 2015; in calendar time, the future is already here.

But today those pages, like the year itself, are still open, pure, waiting.

You're alive.

It's a good day to be startled, and be glad.

Comment by clicking here.

Mary Schmich is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Previously:

01/01/14: 2013 with rhyme but not much reason

11/28/13: There's no way to screen out the screens

11/21/13: The pursuit of privacy: I'm rebelling against the snoops

11/14/13: Travel to the places that only an older person can take you

10/24/13: Impartial adviser always ready with reality check

10/17/13: Macy's decision another case of Thanksgiving sacrilege

10/10/13: Plenty of junk mail is anything but

10/03/13: Age forcing the question: To kill or not to kill?

09/26/13: Wish, but not wanting, over Blackberry's decline

09/12/13: Incurable ignorance dooms us

09/05/13: Linda Ronstadt's loss of singing voice strikes a deep chord

08/29/13: Picking a major while clueless about where we want to go in life

08/22/13: Years later, one last letter from my mother

08/15/13: In praise of the park bench

08/08/13: Juiced-up skills hard to swallow

08/01/13: The view from above: Life in the intimate society of an airplane has improved

07/18/13: Chasing family through history: What the all knowing Internet couldn't tell me about my ancestory

07/11/13: Change is constant. So is thinking we won't change

© 2013, CHICAGO TRIBUNE DISTRIBUTED BY Tribune Media Services

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