In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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

The Eternal War for Peace

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson

Only one man in history has been awarded the Almighty's 'covenant of peace.' That's a curious distinction for having committed the supreme act of violence.

A compelling lesson from antiquity for modernity

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In September of 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from his meeting with Adolph Hitler and famously waved before the House of Parliament the Munich Agreement which, he declared, guaranteed "peace for our time."

In September of the following year, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began. Historians now agree that if Chamberlain and other European leaders would have stood up to Hitler instead of pursuing the illusion of peace through appeasement, World War II might never have happened and tens of millions of lives might have been saved.

Tragically, the lessons of history from 3200 years earlier went unheeded.

As the Jews neared the end of their forty years of wandering in the desert and approached the Promised Land, the armies of the surrounding nations rose up against them, each in turn, to drive them back or destroy them. But the Jews prevailed in battle after battle, until only one enemy remained separating them from the Land of Israel: the nation of Midian.

Having witnessed one miraculous victory by the Jewish people after another, the Midianites contrived a different kind of strategy to defeat them. Rather than sending out their sons armed with weapons of war, the Midianites sent out their daughters armed with the insidious weapons of enticing gowns and beguiling words to seduce the men of Israel and leave them vulnerable to the fierce judgment of their G-d.

The ploy succeeded, not only among the young warriors but even among individuals of great prominence. One of the twelve tribal princes who formed the leadership of the nation, no less, publicly chose a Midianite princess with whom to indulge his lust. In the face of such an example, it seemed inevitable that the majority Jewish men would abandon all restraint and self-control.

In that moment of action, it was neither priest nor sage nor scholar who stepped into the breach. Instead, a relatively unknown youth named Pinchas (Phineas) seized hold of a spear and drove it though the recalcitrant prince and his paramour in the midst of their passion. His action shocked the people out of their lust and brought the nation back to its senses. Through a single act of zealotry, Pinchas deflected the wrath of heavenly judgment and saved tens of thousands from divine retribution.

In reward for his actions, Pinchas received the Almighty's "covenant of peace," a curious term for one who not only committed the supreme act of violence but whose motivation, according to the words of G-d Himself, derived from a "burning jealousy," the very same trait by which, according to the Talmud, man condemns himself to oblivion.

Rabbi Elazar HaKappar says: Jealousy, lust, and the craving for glory cause a person to forfeit his place in the world (Ethics of Fathers 4:28).

Jealousy drives a person to define his existence by the amount of personal property or wealth he has acquired. The jealous person is never satisfied with what he has because he is always measuring his own success in terms of that which he does not yet possess. His perpetual dissatisfaction is the punishment he inflicts upon himself, both in this world and in the World to Come.

Lust is not the longing for material possessions, but the equally physical desire for sensory gratification. The person consumed by lust can only stem his impulses for an instant before he once again seeks the indulgence of his next desire. He too is never satisfied in this world and will find no satisfaction in the next.

Finally, what the person who craves honor truly seeks is the ego-gratification of wielding influence over others. Ultimately, however, only weak-willed people ever submit to such control, and those are the people least worth controlling. On the other hand, people of conviction and integrity resist manipulation with an iron will and refuse to bend before the machinations of others. By their very nature, people of substance accord honor and glory only to those who show their worth through strength of character and good deeds. And so the sages tell us: if one pursues honor, honor flees from before him.

All in all, jealousy, lust, and glory are three different forms of self-absorption. As such, they are three different symptoms of the same metaphysical myopia that can lead us away from the path of eternal reward and down the road to spiritual self-destruction. It is the person who looks beyond himself, beyond the rush of immediate physical gratification, and beyond short term rewards at the expense of long term goals, who lives a life of ultimate value, meaning, and fulfillment.

The jealousy of Pinchas, therefore, was not for himself but for the Master of the Universe, just as it was only the honor of the Almighty that governed his actions. What Pinchas understood, and what the Almighty confirmed, is that peace and harmony are not the natural condition of human beings. They arise only through passionate and persistent struggle.

Like a tree that sprouts and matures and gives forth its fruit, true peace must be planted, nurtured, and protected in order to thrive and nourish human society. Pinchas was indeed a man of peace, formally designated as G-d's agent to cultivate the ways of peace among His people. But Pinchas also recognized that not all men desire peace, and not all who do are prepared to make the sacrifices that authentic peace requires.

In the early 1800s, when traditional Judaism was under attack from reformers who sought to erode its foundations and overturn its ideals, a single figure rose up to fight for the integrity of Jewish values in Germany, the center of the Jewish secular "enlightenment." His name was Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, and his commentary on the episode of Pinchas illuminates the struggles with which he had to contend and those which confront us to this very day:

There can be true peace among men only if they are all at peace with G-d. One who dares to struggle against the enemies of what is good and true in the eyes of G-d is - by this very struggle - one of the fighters for the "covenant of peace" on earth. Conversely, one who, for the sake of what he imagines to be peace with his fellow men, cedes the field without protest and allows them to stir up strife with G-d makes common cause - by his very love of peace - with the enemies of the "covenant of peace" on earth.
The chronicles of history are filled with individuals who made Faustian bargains in the name of peace, only to enable the wicked to wreak violence upon their fellow men. Those who genuinely long for peace know that sometimes we have to fight for peace or lose it altogether. They know as well that only by making every necessary sacrifice to create a world of peace can we ever gain mastery over ourselves and earn the eternal reward of the World to Come.



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JWR contributor Rabbi Yonason Goldson teaches at Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, MO, where he also writes and lectures. He is author of Dawn to Destiny: Exploring Jewish History and its Hidden Wisdom, an overview of Jewish philosophy and history from Creation through the compilation of the Talmud, now available from Judaica Press. Visit him at http://torahideals.com .

© 2010, Rabbi Yonason Goldson