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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 May 21, 2014 / 21 Iyar, 5774

Newscycle spurs visit to country my family fled

By Trudy Rubin


Pavel Constantin, Romania


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In 1905, my grandparents fled a village near Rovno in the Russian Ukraine so my grandfather wouldn't be drafted into the tsar's army. Jews were being pressed into military service for 25 years, he told me, which was all the more reason to escape the hardship and anti-Semitism of rural Russia. He was often nostalgic, not for Ukraine or Russia, but for the smells of the forest where he had worked to cut down trees.

For many reasons I never felt drawn to seek out that village, despite several visits to the Soviet Union and Russia, and two to Ukraine in the 1990s. Probably the Nazis had destroyed it, and independent Ukraine was struggling: The country's 2005 Orange revolution, meant to liberate it from lingering Russian-style corruption, fizzled badly. The country was not on my radar screen.

But suddenly, Ukraine has become the most fascinating country on the European continent, the test case for whether the seven peaceful decades after World War II were an anomaly rather than a permanent norm. So this week I will finally be traveling around Ukraine, not to revisit my family's past, but to explore whether Europe faces a frightening future.

Have we really reentered an era where borders of major countries can be changed by their neighbors through invasion or subversion? Vladimir Putin's rush to re-create the Russian empire by seizing Crimea and destabilizing eastern Ukraine raises questions that were supposedly resolved by the Second World War.

I'll be looking at whether Ukraine can hold together under unrelenting Russian military and economic pressure, and what it will mean if that pressure fractures the country. It's already clear that the story is far more complicated than the Russian narrative would have it.

Yes, the Russian speakers of eastern Ukraine, who have close economic and family ties with nearby Russia, feel alienated from the Kiev government that they believe ignores them. Yet — and this is something I want to explore — repeated polls show that the vast majority of Russian speakers in Ukraine do not want to become part of Russia. They want something else.

Their fears of persecution by Kiev have been whipped up by Russian television stations — which are universally watched in eastern Ukraine. These shows portray Kiev in the grip of fascists and Nazis who threaten the eastern regions. In reality, the Ukrainian far right at the moment, while sometimes unpleasant, is less anti-Semitic and xenophobic than the Russian far right.

So one key question is whether the Kiev government can do more to counteract Russian propaganda and convince Russian speakers in the east that Kiev is listening. This is something I will be asking officials in Kiev as they draft a plan to decentralize Ukraine's regions and give more power to local governments. Of course, Putin will do everything in his power to undermine such outreach, and is threatening to undermine Ukrainian elections on May 25.


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In his new version of nationalism, the Russian leader has proclaimed himself the protector of Russian speakers everywhere, whether in Latvia or oil-rich Kazakhstan or beyond. Perhaps he wants to protect the 20 percent of Israelis who speak Russian. There's no telling where this could lead.

Putin is also promoting cultural warfare, posing as the bulwark of Russian-led Orthodox civilization against the weak and dissolute West led by the United States. Ukraine is split between its Catholic west, which looks toward Europe, and a Russia-leaning eastern Orthodox half, so many observers have accepted Putin's framework.

But — and I also want to check this in my travels — the "war of civilizations" trope is nonsense, I believe. The real divide in Ukraine, I suspect, is between a younger generation that wants a transparent economy and connections to the world, and an older generation that yearns for the remembered "security" of a closed Soviet Union. The sad truth is that the corrupt, oil-based economy of Putin's Russia can't offer older Ukrainians the cushion they dream of. If their country devolves into civil war, the industrialized half that goes with Russia will be doomed to economic stagnation.



In Kiev, I will attend a fascinating conference in which historians, writers, and academics from Ukraine, Europe, Russia, and America will be hashing over these questions. I will interview civic activists whose protests led to the downfall of the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February, and ask them how they think their country can move forward. I will interview right-wing Ukrainian nationalists, whose modest strength is vastly overrated by pro-Russians, and Ukrainian separatists in the east, whose modest strength is magnified by covert Russian military support. The operative question: Can Ukraine push past extremists on both sides, or will Russia make this impossible?

I will be looking at whether, with more outreach from Kiev and tougher Western sanctions, Ukraine can be saved from an implosion with its dangerous repercussions on Europe. And I will be talking to Jewish community leaders, in part to learn what my life would have been like if my grandparents had remained in Rovno, my family had survived Hitler, and I had grown up in Ukraine.

Previously:

04/21/14: Blind to Putin's strategy?

12/24/13: Obama's Syrian indifference has led to more death and destruction. Meet some real heroes

12/13/13: Where liberals have come to love the military

12/09/13: The China strategy

11/05/13: Return to Iraq is worth a close look

10/01/13: Obama's call to Iran: Who was really on the line?

09/11/13: How Obama got Syria so wrong

07/24/13: It's time for Obama to tell Putin 'nyet'

05/15/13: What Russia gave Kerry on Syria --- very little


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.

Comment by clicking here.

Trudy Rubin is a columnist and editorial-board member for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

© 2013, Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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