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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 Feb. 15, 2010 / 1 Adar 5770

I've been on a luge sled. And I've crashed.

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've felt my jaw vibrate as my helmet dribbled on the ice. Felt my shoulders smack against the walls of a straightaway. Felt the discombobulation of looking down over my feet as I tried desperately to steer, pinballing off the sides, finally separating from the sled and scraping my butt down the frozen track.


I was younger then and traveling with the U.S. luge team through Europe. The lugers sort of adopted me — I was the first journalist most of them had ever spoken to — and before long, they had me on the track, trying a minor-league version of what they did.


The luge community in those days was small, tight, brave and low-tech, like the fighter pilots who pioneered our space program. The Americans mostly stayed in cheap hotels, slept three to a room, traveled in a van, ate candy bars for training and fixed their own sleds. They were funny, grubby, detail-oriented and fearless — their love of speed was NASCAR on caffeine — but there was one thing that lowered their eyes and softened their voices.


The words "he came out of the track."

THE DRAMA OF SPEED AND G-FORCES
You never wanted to do that. It was almost impossible. The gravitational forces of going 70 or 80 m.p.h. slammed you into the ice (they are what bounce your helmet during the curves) and while you can smack and bruise yourself all over the serpentine walls, you are pretty much in the track to stay.


But there is a brief window, a split second really, coming out of a curve, where the walls get low and where it is possible, if you lose control and are going too fast and the ice gods are not with you, that you could go airborne and fly out of the track.


Which is what happened to an Olympic luger Friday morning, during a training run, on the day the Vancouver Winter Games were to begin. His name was Nodar Kumaritashvili, from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He was a back-of-the-pack competitor, only 21 years old.


When I crashed, I was going 30 m.p.h.


He was going almost 90.


And he's dead.

Letter from JWR publisher


"He came out of the track." When NBC broadcast the news, its luge commentator, Duncan Kennedy, choked up and sobbed. Kennedy was just a teenager when I was covering the team, a teenager in love with icy speed like the rest of them. Now here he was, retired, a commentator unable to comment. He knew it was the worst thing that could happen at the worst possible time, the Winter Olympics, the only moment luge is ever brought from the shadows into the light.


Because of that, people need to understand.


This is tragic. But it is not typical.

THE DESIRE TO PLACE BLAME
Luge is not a place to die. Mortality incidents, considering the sport — no pads, only a helmet, lying supine on a speeding sled — are exceedingly rare.


But several forces are at work here. First is the unquenched thirst for faster tracks. I don't know why the Vancouver track was designed so slickly, but it's not as if luge looks better on TV if the sliders go 95 m.p.h. vs. 85 m.p.h. This must be addressed.


Also — and this went on 25 years ago when I covered the sport — host countries often limit practice time for foreign teams, hoping to preserve a home-ice advantage. Apparently, this went on in Canada. Thus, most Olympic sliders are facing a relatively unfamiliar track while under the most intense pressure to succeed. Such gamesmanship is way too dangerous.


But beyond that — although an international media will no doubt blow this thing up and scold everyone in sight — mostly this was luge being luge, a dangerous canvass with a small rip that in the worst combination of circumstances can suck up an athlete and take him away.


"He came out of the track." The voices soften. The eyes lower. Only this time, the whole world was watching and is not likely to forget.

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.

MITCH'S LATEST
"For One More Day"  

"For One More Day" is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Sales help fund JWR.



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