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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 March 13, 2006 / 13 Adar, 5766

Seeking Murphy the spy

By Tom Purcell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the world in such a tizzy these days - with so many people ready to shout and argue and poke each other in the eyes — I can't think of a better time to embrace the Irish spirit.


It's my great good fortune to be a fellow of Irish descent. I share my good fortune with a quarter of all Americans, who can also trace their heritage to the rolling, green hills of Ireland.


As a lad, I remember my father the Big Guy sitting on the back porch on Sundays. Uncle Mike would sometimes visit for a couple of beers, and few things gave them more pleasure than swapping Irish jokes.


Such as the one about the fellow who was touring the Irish countryside. Hungry, he stopped at a farm and asked for refreshment. The lady of the house served him a bowl of soup. There was a pig in the house that kept running up to the fellow.


"That is the friendliest pig I ever did meet," he said to the woman.


"He's not friendly at all," said the woman. "That's his bowl you're using."


I know that I'm not really "Irish," but an American through and through. I know, too, that I'm also of German descent, and, much to my father's horror, my great-grandmother on his side turned out not to be Irish, but 100 percent French.


Still, in my family we idealize what it means to be Irish. Being Irish means to laugh easily, never to take yourself too seriously, to be cautious of getting stuck in the narrowness of your own point of view.


Which reminds me of the one about the German spy who is sent to Ireland during World War II. The German is instructed to meet an Irish spy named Murphy and confirm Murphy's identity by saying, "The weather could change by Tuesday."


After the German parachutes into Ireland, he sets off for town. Along the way, he asks a farmer where he might find a man named Murphy.


"Well, sir, it all depends on which Murphy," says the farmer. "We have Murphy the doctor, Murphy the postal carrier, Murphy the stone mason and Murphy the teacher. As a matter of fact, I, too, am Murphy, Murphy the farmer."


The German gets an idea.


"The weather could change by Tuesday," he says.


"Aye," says the farmer, "you'll be wanting Murphy the spy."


James Thurber, one of my favorite humorists, says the wheels of humor are set in motion by the damp hand of melancholy. Aristotle wrote that comedy and tragedy are close cousins. The Irish have long known that humor and laughter are our chief weapons for combating sadness and pain.


Which reminds me of the time a young Irishman tells his mother he's in love. Just for fun, he brings home three girls and asks his mother to guess which of the three he has chosen to be his bride.


After his mother interviews all three, she says, "Your fiancee is the one in the middle."


"That's amazing, ma. How did you know?"


"Because I don't like her."


British academic and joke theorist Christy Davies says a good joke can help clarify and express complex feelings. A good joke can cut to the heart of the matter better than any speech or law or government policy.


If only every country and every culture held such a point of view. How much better the world would be if all people responded to humor by laughing or at least by thinking — instead of rioting and blowing things up.


These days, with all the conflict and disagreement going on, we could all profit from a better sense of humor.


Which reminds me of the time Pat explained to Mike why his valiant effort to scale Mt. Everest fell short.


"Aye," says Pat, "I would have made it to the top had I not run out of scaffolding."

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