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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

Small house, big blessings: A look at what really matters

By Susie Boyce


Susie Boyce stands with two of her sisters outside of their childhood home



My parents raised a large family on next to nothing. A recent visit to my childhood home reminded me that we were both downright poor and incredibly lucky


JewishWorldReview.com | For my remarkable parents, who were much smarter and possibly a tiny bit wealthier than their kids ever gave them credit for.

My parents raised a large family on next to nothing. The list of what we lacked while I was growing up is long, so here's a shortened version:

A dishwasher. When I was 3 years old, our family of five moved into a small house that had been built before dishwashers became standard household amenities. When I left for college 15 years later, a dishwasher was still at the top of our "most wanted" list.

Square footage. My parents aimed high, and our numbers grew at a staggering rate. After Mom had her seventh child, she contended that nine people living in 1,250 square feet officially exceeded capacity. And that Dad would be wise to do something about it (the "or else" was more or less implied).

Dad took the hint.

Because funds were scarce, Dad hired a college student to assist him and my brother in converting our garage and back porch into living space. The resulting 1,950 square feet felt palatial. So large, in fact, that my parents figured there was room enough to add one more. My baby sister rounded our numbers up to a nice, even 10.

A garage. See above.

Regular milk. Normal people buy milk in gallon jugs; Mom bought ours in 50-pound bags. We used spoons to scoop the froth and chunks off the top of the reconstituted powdered milk, but masking its dreadful aftertaste was more problematic. Our only hope was holding our breath while swallowing, and then being extra careful not to inhale until after taking a bite of food. Breathing too soon spelled taste bud disaster.

Superfluous, expensive stuff. We hardly ever locked our doors, and I remember once how worried my brother was about being robbed. Dad's reply was strangely reassuring, "Any thief who walks into our house will leave disappointed — and probably empty-handed."

My parents sold that house and moved away years ago, so I rarely find myself in my hometown. But just a few weeks ago, two of my sisters and I traveled there for the funeral of a dear family friend. Afterwards, we decided to check out our childhood digs.

WHAT WE DID HAVE

As we pulled up in front of the house (which had shrunk dramatically), nothing we didn't have while growing up came readily to mind. Instead, I considered everything we did have. The list is long, so here's a shortened version:

"Character building" opportunities. Mom's response to our incessant begging for a dishwasher was always the same, "We already have eight dishwashers! Why do we need another one? Plus, we can't afford it." Money from paper routes and other odd jobs went into our very own bank accounts. So we thought carefully — but often not carefully enough — before spending it on movies, clothes or junk food (since our pantry never provided any).

Faith. Strong and deep.

A sense of humor. Seriously, anyone who grows up eating beans and cheese over toast and sharing underwear is destined to one of two things: 1) therapy, or 2) developing an appreciation for the slightly odd, unexpected, and sometimes just plain weird. Since my parents couldn't afford therapy, we settled on laughter (or shouting or skulking, depending on the situation). Humor has helped our family through heartaches, and makes hanging out together simply awesome.


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Friends. Our house was often chock-full; no one (except for us kids, usually at the onset of puberty) seemed to mind our lack of junk food or space.

Love. Imperfections run in our family (I'm guessing we're not alone). But as a kid. the peace and security that came from knowing I was loved — absolutely, completely, no matter what — pretty much trumped anything else. Even frothy, chunky powdered milk.

My sisters and I stood on the front lawn by the tree my brothers had once tied my sister to (only to get her out of their hair, and only until Mom pulled into the driveway minutes later). While we were laughing, I knew why our small house had been plenty big: we never lacked anything of true value.

Although convincing me of this at 13 would have proved near impossible, we were incredibly lucky. We had it all. While driving home late that night, it occurred to me that my parents — had it been a true priority — could probably have afforded a dishwasher.

A few days after our trip, my sister commented, "Sometimes we try so hard to give our kids what we didn't have that we forget to give them what we did have."

My sister always was pretty smart; I suspect she got that from my parents.

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Susie Boyce is a mom, writer and public speaker.









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