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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 18, 2014 / 20 Sivan, 5774

Divorce court --- the best way to discourage divorces

By Jennifer Graham




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Divorce is not yet a sacrament, but in the past half-century it's become the next-best thing: a blessed event to be celebrated at parties replete with champagne toasts and "freedom cakes."

This is why, in The Washington Post recently, writer Scott Keyes could call conservative efforts to stem divorce a "fringe idea" without provoking a peep of outrage. In a culture in which half of all marriages end, divorce is a sacred cow with poison teats; critics tiptoe around it, mindful of insulting a friend, coworker, or relative. If they themselves are divorced, they're pronounced bitter. If not, they're misogynistic antiques hawking the values of a freedom-wary ayatollah.

Yet even the most vehement argument put forth by liberty lovers is enfeebled when a liberty does harm to innocent others, as divorce clearly does. Rare is the child whose reaction to his parents' divorce is "Woo-hoo, let's party!"

How then should conservatives joust at a grinning beast that makes families poorer and children susceptible to assorted other stresses, disorders, and delinquency, and to their own divorces? Current efforts focus on waiting periods, forcing a cooling-down period for combusting couples, and these may help. But there's another option that's free and accessible to all: divorce court. Real ones, not the TV show.

Queen Victoria famously said that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all. The same could be said of divorce court. On any given weekday across the Commonwealth, family court judges endure a gloomy parade of grievances. Once, waiting for my own sorry proceeding, I watched a couple, accompanied by a pair of pricey attorneys, argue for 10 minutes over jewelry. Not who would get it, but who would appraise it.

In deciding to part, the pair forsook the better and embraced the worst, not realizing that, for many, divorce doesn't end problems, but creates new ones. If people were privy to real divorce hearings — the downward, embarrassed faces at dissolution, the furious chill of repeated child-support hearings — they might rethink the severity of their own troubles. The slogan of The Huffington Post's divorce section says it all: "Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever."

Can we make people spend a day in divorce court before allowing them to file for divorce? Why not? We force divorcing Massachusetts couples to endure a parenting class, which consists of five hours of kumbaya with dubious benefit. And the parents must pay. Conversely, family court sessions, generally open to the public, are free. Misery for the masses, on tap like a bitter beer.

Recently, I witnessed two people (and, of course, their attorneys) come before a judge in Cambridge because the mother had allowed their teenager to fly to Florida with another family, despite the father's objection. So much for the parenting class. Or, for that matter, the "freedom cake." Freedom's just another word for "why don't we let a complete stranger decide where we live and how much of our money we can keep?" Conservatives should refrain from divorcing just on the basis of governmental intrusion alone.

Of course, just as no one enters a marriage anticipating its end, no one thinks getting divorced is going to be that bad. "Everybody thinks they're going to be different," Michele Weiner-Davis told me. Weiner-Davis is an outlier, a brash Cassandra who makes a living trying to stop people from getting divorced. Her "Divorce Busting" book, website, and practice were born of the anguish she experienced when her parents divorced when she was a senior in high school and "this warm little nest fell apart."

"It had such a profound effect on me, that I decided I wanted to be the Johnny Appleseed of love and teach people what they need to know so they're not faced with that, to try to give a crystal ball into the future," she said.

No one — not Weiner-Davis nor her compatriots at Kids Against Divorce or the Coalition for Divorce Reform (for which I occasionally write) — is encouraging people to stay in marriages that are abusive or wracked with addictions. But the troubling trend to celebrate, not mourn, the end of a marriage noisily obfuscates a truth: When ending, even a low-conflict marriage can molder into a high-conflict divorce. Open an observation window in the process, and there'd be far fewer cakes.


Previously:


Nov. 6, 2013: American Idle

Oct. 23, 2013: The profanity that isn't

Sept. 19, 2013: Hollyweird Goes Normal: Filmmakers suddenly rushing to the side of intact families

Sept. 12, 2013: Let there be night: Has unnecessary lighting become a new form of home invasion?

August 28, 2013: The NFL has become the champion of women that feminists never could


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© 2013, Jennifer Graham

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