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December 2, 2014

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 July 14, 2014 / 16 Tammuz, 5774

Rage nation

By Mitch Albom




JewishWorldReview.com | Why such anger, I wonder?

On Friday morning, within minutes of perusing the newspaper, I'd read three stories, all of which left me shaking my head.

The first was the funeral for a beloved soccer referee, killed with one punch from an angry player.

The second was the sentencing of a man who attacked a motorist and, joining many others, beat him senseless.

The third concerned a high school student who poisoned his teacher's coffee.

What united all three stories is that none of them had to happen.

No one forced Bassel Saad, a 36-year-old Dearborn, Michigan business owner, to allegedly punch a referee named John Bieniewicz during an adult soccer match in Livonia. Saad was angry over something. He could have run the other way, or complained later to friends over coffee.

Instead, he was SO UPSET he allegedly had to express himself through a sucker punch. A punch that killed the referee from blunt force trauma to the neck. Now Saad faces second-degree murder charges.

Likewise, no one forced James Davis, a 24-year-old Detroiter, to join a beatdown in April of Steven Utash, whose pickup truck struck a 10-year-old boy who had ventured into the street. Davis, who presumably didn't begin his day looking to clobber somebody, could have stayed put, watched from the curb or, even better, put his efforts toward helping the boy, as Utash was attempting to do.

Instead, something inside him was SO ANGRY that he joined more than a dozen others in kicking, punching and pummeling Utash into near-oblivion.

Now he will spend a year in jail or a work release program.

A CHANCE TO ACT LIKE BIG SHOTS

And certainly nobody forced a 17-year-old high school student in Livingston County, Michigan to poison a math teacher by putting Visine eye drops into her coffee day after day. The male student —who was not identified —could have kept quiet, done the homework, like every other student, no matter what was thought of the teacher.

Instead, somehow this teenager was SO UPSET that it justified poisoning a drink —which left the teacher, Mary Aldecoa, with severe symptoms, she told authorities. It wasn't one day of eyedrops in her coffee, but multiple days, repeat performances. Some kid had to want to keep doing this.

Why such anger? Where does it come from? It's not poverty. It's not political suffering. These were common events, a soccer match, a math class, even an incident in traffic. Yet we have somehow become so hair-trigger in our reactions, that we grab hammers to kill gnats.

"This is the result of sin," a cleric was quoted as saying at Bieniewicz's funeral. Perhaps. But there may be something else at work here, too.

We seem so dissatisfied with our lives these days —despite having more than at any point in history —that big, assertive action attracts us, it elevates us, it lets us pound our chest and feel that we, at that moment, are in charge of things. As opposed to all the moments feeling that we are not.



RULE OF LAW DOESN'T WORK

This, of course, is a pathetic justification, the excuse of an overindulged society. Around the world, people face real problems, starvation, disease, rocket fire, religious oppression. Here we are just angry. We don't get enough respect. We don't get paid enough. We don't feel celebrated enough. We feel pain so we enjoy mocking others' pain, partaking in a group beating where you can't get hurt, or secretly poisoning a teacher to watch the symptoms, maybe even laugh about them.

Why such anger? It doesn't help that the sentencing for such awful acts reflects a justice system cuffed by bureaucracy and technicalities. The Fowlerville High School kid who put eye drops in the teacher's coffee will face no charges —no charges? —due to "insufficient legally admissible evidence," according to the prosecutor's office.

Davis got one year in jail for beating Utash, a sentence at the low end of the guidelines. Two of the attackers won't do jail time at all, thanks to their age. Meanwhile, Utash released a statement saying his head "looked like a mushroom" after the beating, and his family claims he has suffered brain damage.

For what?

That's what I keep asking myself, as stories after stories like these pile up. For what? Because a soccer call ticked you off? Because you didn't like a math teacher? Why such anger? Why such rage? Until we get control of that, we'll have no end to our head shaking. .

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Mitch Albom Archives

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