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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 19, 2014 / 21 Sivan, 5774

Use Your Hands

By Froma Harrop



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Have you stopped using your hands? Do your fingers struggle to sign your name? Is chopping an onion with a knife hard work? Must you call someone to fix a cabinet door off the hinges? Is it agony to sew on a button?

For many, computers and laziness have sapped our manual skills. This is not progress.

In a much-read essay, Maria Konnikova cites several studies revealing what's lost when people replace handwriting with a keyboard. At Indiana University, for example, psychologist Karin James showed preliterate children a letter on an index card and asked them to reproduce it by tracing, drawing on blank paper or typing on a computer.

The children were put under a brain scanner and shown the letter again. Those who had drawn the letter freehand, Konnikova writes, "exhibited increased activity in three areas of the brain that are activated in adults when they read and write." Those who traced or typed were far less so affected.

James noted that the messiness in writing freehand yielded highly variable results. She believes the variability itself helped the children to learn.

In another study, older students taking notes by hand were found to process and remember information better than those using a keyboard.

The benefits of doing things manually could apply to a lot of things people once used their hands for but now do not much. Very often, the old-fashioned, hand-based activities also do a better job.

A friend tells me of his newfound preference for shaving with traditional instruments, as opposed to a plastic razor ripped out of the wrapping and soon disposed of. First, he must loosen screws on the razor holder. Then he inserts a double-edged blade and tightens the screws. He makes his shaving cream with an old-style shaving soap and applies it with a brush.

This makes the shaving routine more tactile and active. It also produces a better shave, my friend insists, exfoliating the skin while removing hair.

The great vegetarian food writer Deborah Madison calls hands "your most important tool," followed by an ordinary sharp knife. "Food processed in a machine never reveals the hand of the cook," she writes. "I always find it much more interesting to see the person in the way he or she cuts vegetables; it's one of the things that makes hands-on cooking so vital."

Like much else, sewing machines are now computerized. The upscale models come with a wide repertory of embroidery stitches. Who does embroidery by hand these days? Only a few. Sadly, the machine-embroidered product doesn't hold a candle to hand embroidery, with its human imperfections.


My mother was a great needleworker. I recall helping out with one of her projects when I was small. It was a large tablecloth printed with marks for the cross-stitches. She gave me a corner to work on and never touched my sloppy stitching. I now tear up every time I use the tablecloth.

Back at the written word, even pre-computer typing creates a more crafted product than the perfect digital version. Banging the keys on a manual typewriter makes uneven letters and thus more personalized results. (I heard of a recent wedding where the couple set up an old typewriter with cards on which guests could pound out their comments.) And no, clever fonts that ape handwriting don't do the job.

Speaking of apes, modern humans hold dominion over the other hominids because of our manual dexterity and attendant brain development. What will happen to a species that equips its toddlers with iPads? Can't say. But if Bigfoot ever learns to write thank-you notes, we may all be in trouble.

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