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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 July 30, 2012/ 12 Menachem-Av, 5772

Mother Matie's life made others' better

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She always stood tall, even sitting in a wheelchair, and when they rolled her through her soup kitchen, everyone looked up. That's how you felt when you spoke to her, like you were looking up.

And that's how she lived her life.

Maude Batie is gone. She died last Sunday, just after church. Her heart failed. But I prefer to think it gave out from exertion, because few hearts ever worked longer or harder than hers.

She lived 82 years on this earth, the last few were spent on dialysis, yet pretty much her entire adult life was about giving to others, helping the elderly, helping the poor, helping the hungry. She had eight children of her own, but her nickname with everyone was "Mother." It fit. She had a mother's eye for nurturing and a disarming mother's smile that made you trust in her wisdom.

She spoke in a down-home cadence of her Mississippi childhood. "I didn't have not a penny to get it," she might say. Or she'd erupt with a "HEY!" or a "Hallelujah!" as if suddenly injected with the Holy Spirit. And who knows? Several times in her life, she said, the Lord spoke to her. Twice she was told to acquire a building.

The first time was 40 years ago, a yellow brick structure on 12th Street in Detroit. It looked nice enough from the outside, but when she went in she discovered "they had been fixing cars in there, it was dirty and picked apart. Even one of my sisters said to me, 'You don't want to get this building. It's too much work.' "

Mother Batie was undeterred.

"The voice said this building," she insisted.

And that building it was.

She talked the owner into selling it to her -- for $19,500, nearly $10,000 less than he wanted -- and after he agreed, she said, "Now I really got something to tell you. I ain't got no job."

It didn't stop her. They went to a bank, drew up a private contract, and with money she collected form renting space in her home, she began to pay it back. Meanwhile, inside that building, she opened a soup kitchen and fed the hungry. It was what God wanted her to do, she said.

Soon thereafter, calamity struck. A fire. Mother Batie ran toward the flames, but before she could get there, she said she felt an invisible arm around her, and a voice once again said, "This is a blessing in disguise."

Within hours, with the fire extinguished, she was inside, wiping down the tables. She wanted the kitchen to stay open no matter how much it had been knocked to its knees. When the original owner saw her determination, he gave her $10,000 toward repairing the place and making it even better.

A blessing in disguise.

Years later, she said she heard the Lord's voice again, telling her to secure a building in Highland Park that had been vandalized. Over time, she was again able to acquire that building for a fraction of its asking price. This time she -- and others -- started a church, the Holy Temple of Faith Church of God in Christ.

It is where her wake was held Friday night.

You probably didn't know Mother Batie. She wasn't at high-profile events, she held no office, she wasn't a regular on TV.

Yet Detroit -- like most challenged cities -- would collapse without people like her. The people she fed every day are largely off the radar, but if they starved and turned to crime to feed themselves, we would feel it. If they grew ill, filled out emergency rooms, we would feel it. If they died, we would feel it.

How many citizens are out there, every day, getting by because of the meals people like Maud Batie served, or wearing the clothes she helped collect, or using the furniture she got donated and gave away?

We measure the city in budgets and deficits and tax revenues, but there is an entire ecosystem that supports thousands of the poorest citizens. And nobody truly charts or analyzes this world.

This was where Maude Batie lived. And where she died. She is as much a hero of this city as anyone with a wall full of plaques, and we will miss her stories, her energy and her unshakable belief.

Last year, government budget cuts nearly closed her soup kitchen, and only a rush of private donations kept the doors open. In her honor, we should do the same now, and make sure they never close.

She used to lead grace before meals and would end by saying, "The things that we have, the Lord has provided. And we are thankful."

We had Mother Batie for 82 years.

And we are thankful.




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