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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 June 3, 2013/ 25 Sivan, 5773

Idols on the silver screen

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Maybe it's different for you. If you're online with me right now (trust me, I am at the computer as you're reading -- that's what I do), you're probably in need of some silence. Desperate for it, and maybe even terrified of it. Like the end of "The Social Network," where Jesse Eisenberg just keeps hitting "refresh." As if there were really anything rejuvenating about the act.

Listening to MSNBC anchors reference "so-called" White House scandals involving the IRS and Benghazi, I had to admire for a moment once again the adept political skill at work; they know their audience. Not MSNBC's particularly, but the culture we're living in. We have limited attention spans.

Elizabeth Scalia's new book, "Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life," has a brilliant cover. It shows the window of a cathedral looking into rows of app icons. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, shoes, sports, alcohol, gambling, a political party. None of these are intrinsically bad. But in excess, outside of a healthy order, they can poison our lives and relationships.

In "Strange Gods," Scalia, known online as "The Anchoress" from the title of her blog, announces that ours is a "culture that is over-connected, media saturated, and weirdly obsessed with the fake glamour of 'reality' exhibitionism."

Illusions are all around us. Some of them are presented by advertisers (as Google adjusts to our conversations!), and "can keep us recklessly careening about in search of some elusive idea of perfection. When we listen to these voices, our pride and ego are neither acknowledged nor reined in." Instead, she observes, "they run wild, urging that we assert ourselves, pursue the notice of others -- that we control our environments and even insert ourselves into conversations and life stories that are actually none of our business."

Our vision is "bedazzled by our fears, insecurities, egos," she suggests. We find ourselves "mesmerized by our favorite iThis and eThat and how much we love our favorite artist, our favorite politician, and our favorite sports figure."

We attribute to all of these things, all of these people, expectations that aren't fair to -- or good for -- anyone. Even in our cynicism about politics, we look to personalities and legislation for salvation.

Sitting at a conference on religious freedom -- far from my first -- this past week, I reflected on these alternative realities. Here the Ethics and Public Policy Center had gathered Sikhs, Muslims, Pentecostals, Jews and Catholics, among others, to discuss the urgency of the threats that are eroding religious freedom in America.

One of these threats, the Department of Health and Human Services insurance mandate that has forced business owners and religious leaders to court for relief is about protecting basic conscience rights that the late Ted Kennedy, as well as Hillary Clinton, when marketing her health-care reform plan as first lady, were not long ago in favor of. It's about basic freedom.

Family life is on the decline. Researchers and commentators tell us what we can see every time we get on an elevator or wait in a checkout line: People are connected, but they're not connecting. Good luck building families and communities, kids, in a culture of looking down at your iWhatever. Add to this an increase in Americans who believe that anything goes spiritually -- who needs organized religion anyway? -- when we actually do look up from our gadgets, we may just find that the mediating institutions that have buttressed our pluralistic, democratic republic have become relics.

We need to do more than just hit "refresh."

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