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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 May 10, 2011/ 6 Iyar, 5771

Say your prayers

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It figures.

The National Day of Prayer was this past Thursday -- and I forgot to pray.

I'm not very skilled at praying. Like a lot of folks, I don't pray until things go sour or I face some daunting challenge.

I pray on Monday mornings when I'm way behind on projects that are due. I pray every April 15 -- right after cursing. I pray when people I love are ill or worse.

My best prayers have followed long nights at the pub.

Plenty of folks struggle with prayer.

It is something people of every religion and culture have felt the need to do since there have been people.

One of the most extensive polls on prayer was conducted by U.S. News & World Report in 2004. Some respondents had wacky ideas about what prayer is about.

One fellow prayed that his broken car would heal itself; he claims it did. Another fellow prayed that a couple who helped break up his marriage would also break up; he claims his prayers did the trick.

The now-deceased Osama bin Laden had some weird prayers. He prayed for America's destruction. He prayed, no doubt, before his boys struck the twin towers -- and after the towers fell.

He prayed for the wrong reasons, of course.

If you believe, as I do, that there is order in our conflicted universe -- that there is good and evil, at battle everywhere, every day -- then isn't the purpose of prayer simply to understand and embrace the truth?

You pray to know the good. You pray to align yourself with it. You pray to root out dishonesty and evil from your being.

Surely you agree there is good and evil in this world.

Greek philosophers had names for good: prudence, temperance, courage and justice were virtues that all people longed to master.

As we strive for good, we must fend off evil: excessive pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

These are known as the seven deadly sins -- and as activities I usually save for the weekend!

I'll leave it to the Almighty to judge bin Laden for his worldly acts, but to my feeble human mind, it is clear that bin Laden was blinded by the sin of excessive pride.

He had it worked out in his mind that he and his small band had a direct line to G0d, who told them to slaughter innocent people.

Didn't he see himself as pious and subservient when he was really an egotist and narcissist who misused his religion to drape himself in power and the adulation of millions?

Wasn't his a sin of obsessive pride? Didn't he misuse prayer -- not to get closer to G0d, but to justify his own misguided ambitions?

His was such a clever form of evil that the fool thought he was doing good!

These terms sound biblical, but are they really? You need not be religious to agree that there is a battle regularly going on between good and evil.

This battle rages in every human heart. It rages within every religion, every political system -- and on and on.

This battle rages because we humans are mighty flawed and in continual need of improvement.

If you believe there is order in the universe, then mustn't we continually align ourselves with the good and root out the bad in our political systems, our organizations -- ourselves?

We must root out excessive pride and embrace humility. We must be more kind and charitable, less angry. We must be less greedy, more generous.

Honest prayer is helpful in that respect.

I sure pray that I get better at it.

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