In this issue

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)

Reprinted from JewishWorldReview.com

Regaining the wonder

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo

A profound meditation and challenge for the faithful — and, more importantly, their spiritual mentors

“…This feeling of wonderment is the source and inexhaustible fountain-head of his desire for knowledge. It drives the child irresistibly on to solve the mystery, and if in his attempt he encounters a causal relationship, he will not tire of repeating the same experiment ten times, a hundred times, in order to taste the thrill of discovery over and over again….The reason why the adult no longer wonders is not because he has solved the riddle of life, but because he has grown accustomed to the laws governing his world picture. But the problem of why these particular laws and no others hold remains for him just as amazing and inexplicable as for the child. He who does not comprehend this situation misconstrues its profound significance, and he who has reached the stage where he no longer wonders about anything, merely demonstrates that he has lost the art of reflective reasoning.”

                       — Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography, NY, 1949, pp 91-93

In this week's Torah reading, we find a fascinating passage concerning Moses' descent from Sinai. We are informed that Moses decided to cover his face with a mask after realizing that his facial skin had become radiant causing people to withdraw and not dare approach him (Exodus 34: 29-35).

What is utterly surprising, however, is that contrary to common belief, Moses walked daily throughout the Israelite camp with his mask on, as long as he did not speak with the people. But once he had to speak to them he deliberately took it off, revealing his luminous face. Instead of accommodating them by making it easier to approach him, it seems that he wanted to bring them into an altogether different spiritual setting before repeating the words of the Divine as he had heard them. By taking off the mask he exposed them to this divine radiance, which caught them by complete surprise. The purpose, then, was to catch them off guard.

Human beings can quickly become desensitized to even the most astonishing stimuli once they get used to them. The wonder will wear off. For Moses' radiance to have an ongoing effect it had to be hidden so that when he would reveal his face the Israelites would be deeply moved by its luminance. Only under those conditions could they fully appreciate and value the Divine's words. Otherwise even the words of the Divine would become mediocre. Familiarity breeds contempt.


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Religion is the art of knowing what to do with wonder. To ensure that it does not fall back into complacency, it must never become everydayness.

In fact, this has become one of the greatest challenges to those of a spiritual bent in the last few hundreds years. While in the days of Moses and the prophets, religion was experienced as a majestic representation of the new, and with deep spiritual excitement, over the centuries this wonder has been replaced by a devastating familiarity. Religion has put on a permanent mask that is never removed.

By thoroughly misunderstanding what life is all about and believing that we have solved most problems concerning the mystery of life, we have become mentally shut off from the possibility of the extraordinary and unprecedented. We have deadened our capacity to be surprised.

With the passing of time, we have turned religion into an institution, a dogma and a ritual into which everything needs to fit neatly. But Judaism is really about an upheaval in the soul and the need to break with all sorts of idols. To live with spiritual trepidation in which man realizes that he was created from dust but has the capacity to reach Heaven. Whether or not man succeeds will depend on his ability and willingness to stand in awe.

We have turned religion into an area of our lives that comforts but does not challenge. We have made it into a lame doctrine in which the courage to shatter callousness has been sidetracked. It has been transformed into a sweet and comfortable system in which man can slumber and never wake up.

Today's religion has paradoxically made modern man believe that divine revelation is impossible. How, after all, can it claim that the Almighty can enter our world when it has utterly rejected the notion that surprise is the great spiritual mover for authentic religious life? How can one uphold a belief in the Revelation at Sinai when one simultaneously has bought into a spiritual stagnancy by thinking that scientific investigation is all there is and wonder is no longer to be part of our experience? Revelation is based on the notion of infrequency. Its authenticity and truth is to be found in its being different from all other experiences. Its uniqueness is that it cannot be compared to any other event. It is sui generis. Once we attempt to explain it, it has lost its very purpose and essence. If we extinguish the spark of its singularity it is reduced to insignificance.

We need people who can teach us to take off our mask — which by now has merged with our skin — and show us the original glow of the Divine's word, as Moses did.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and ambassador for Judaism, the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Sephardic Heritage.

© 2011, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo