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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 June 11, 2013/ 3 Tamuz, 5773

Miraculously, a teens-and-guns story that doesn't end with a funeral

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | He walks in the room with a plastic helmet over his head. He sits. He takes off the helmet. You can see the damage on the right side of his head. Sixty days earlier, he had gone to a best friend's party, things got out of hand and as the party was breaking up -- with some kids cheering "East side" and some "West side" -- a gun was fired, and Balaal Hollings went down.

Cheers and bullets. An incongruous pairing. But no more incongruous than being a child in Detroit, where youthful innocence meets adult horror every day of the week.

So Hollings, captain of the football, baseball and golf teams at Northwestern High School, voted pretty much everything by his senior class, the rarest currency in our city -- a kid smart enough, talented enough and motivated enough to rise above -- was on the ground.

Not surprisingly, he popped back up.

"You all right?" a friend said.

"Yeah," he said, "but I been hit."

And he went down again.

He was rushed to DMC Sinai-Grace hospital. The doctor who operated figured Hollings had no chance. The bullet entered the right side of his head, destroying part of his skull and lodging in his brain. "He was essentially," the surgeon, Aria Sabit, told the Free Press, "the definition of dead."

But this is Detroit.

Good and bad, we make our own definitions.

Sixty days after being shot, Hollings sits in front of me. His voice is mostly steady, his vocabulary full. His smile comes as easy as poured syrup.

He is 6-feet-1, was close to 320 pounds before the incident, and played offensive and defensive lineman for Northwestern, snapping the ball on one side, hulking over it on the other. "I was gonna go to college to play," he said. "Before this."

"This" has changed things. The bullet remains in his brain, too precarious to remove. His rehabilitation has been no less than stunning -- even medical people blink and shake their heads -- but, he says, he can still only walk 500 feet unassisted. With typical youthful buoyancy, he declares, "I'm fully rehabilitated." But there is work to be done.

With grace, he will do it. Hollings already has survived more than one kid should have to. His father, he says, "went to jail when I was 3." His mother died two years ago "of a heart attack in her sleep." His older sister became his legal guardian.

Balaal kept going. He was elected class president and voted most likely to succeed. He played six sports. The day of the party, he had just come back from a trip across the south, where he and other students played golf, visited universities and saw cultural institutions as part of the Midnight Golf mentoring and empowerment program.

"I should have just stayed in bed," he says.

You may have heard already about Balaal Hollings -- or you will soon. And, in a YouTube culture, he is a video must-see, surprising his high school last week by walking into graduation and delivering a speech -- as he planned to do before the gunfire. When they saw him in a gown, a pink tassel on his helmet, his classmates roared their approval.

Cheers and bullets.

"It is so good to be alive," he told the crowd. And they roared again -- in part for him, and in part, maybe, for themselves, because here was a teens-and-guns story that didn't end in a funeral. We have so many of those. Too many. Gun assaults have risen steadily in Detroit the past few years. The incidents involving children have been horrifying. Hollings says that -- contrary to early reports -- there was no real fight at the party, that the shooters were just celebrating themselves. That may be even sadder.

"The only people who should have guns is military and police officers," he says, shaking his wounded head. "It's scary."

It is. But Hollings' smile is inspiring -- as is his plan to attend Wayne State University in the fall. He puts his helmet on before leaving. He lifts his big frame from the table. I ask him what lessons he has learned.

"Don't go to house parties."

Anything bigger? "Yeah ... whatever you want to believe in, just believe in a higher power ... Because it was somebody's doing that allowed me to be talking to you today."

Balaal Hollings shakes my hand and walks away -- a miracle in itself. He turned 18 this month. A legal Detroit adult. We can only pray it's all cheers and no bullets from this point on.



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