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 August 4, 2005 / 28 Tammuz, 5765

Answering the call of the chattering classes

By Garrison Keillor

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Don't ask me why, I bought a deluxe cell phone that can send text messages and take photographs and video. It also may be used to dial phone numbers and talk to people. It does everything except trim your ear hair and maybe it can do that and I just haven't figured out how. It plays Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" when somebody calls me, which gives each call special beauty and poignancy, and I carry it with me wherever I go and phone in updates on my progress: I'M AT THE GROCERY — YOU CAN'T HEAR ME? — THAT'S ODD. YOU'RE COMING IN LOUD AND CLEAR. I'LL TRY YOU LATER ON MY WAY HOME.

Lindbergh flew the Atlantic with no radio and nobody knew where he was until some fishermen saw his plane off the Irish coast, but I maintain constant contact as I roam the produce section shopping for honeydew melons. I used to feel superior to cell phone people and now I am one. And now a soprano is singing Puccini, and it is my wife wondering about my plans for the day. I am fond of this little gizmo. Some people consider it an intrusion and goody for them, but I grew up in the sticks and know how oppressive silence can be and I am not romantic about isolation. I remember those flinty old guys in small-town cafes who wouldn't give you the time of day and I don't miss them at all. I miss my aunts. I think my aunts would've loved cell phones.

A few weeks ago I was at the airport at 1 a.m. and got in a crowd of 30 Hmong people waiting at the foot of the escalator for somebody to arrive. They were in a high state of excitation, chirping away, their chatter like bird song, and it reminded me how good it felt long ago coming home from six months in Europe and walking through a crowd at the airport and hearing 40 conversations at once, a shower of American voices. After six months of trying to remember verb declensions, the sheer pleasure of friendly meaningless chatter.

For years I've told stories on the radio and eventually I started to meet men and women who had grown up listening to me and whose parents had taped my stories and played them to their children at night to put them to sleep — and it worked. It took me awhile to appreciate this, but now I do. People like to be talked to. It has nothing to do with literary merit; it's about vowels. This is what our women wanted when they said, "Why don't you ever talk to me?" We imagined that they wanted us to talk about the future of higher education, so we sat and thought long thoughts, but really they only wanted some clucking and chittering, a few caws. This is what cell phones are for, to honk into and declare our position and reaffirm loyalty.

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When I was in college, the smart people were going into engineering, which had solid long-term prospects, and only we dweezils majored in English, and look what happened: Engineers are being laid off, America is losing its capacity to manufacture things (my phone was made in China, of course), but every day we turn out trillions of words about ourselves, bloggers blogging, floods of memoir, day-dreaming, carpet-chewing, and when eventually the Chinese repo men come to collect on our debt, they will find a nation of highly articulate self-aware people who can't change an oil filter but maintain wonderful Web sites. A nation of English majors.

I woke up this morning with the blues and felt like laying my head on some lonesome railroad line and let that 8:19 ease my troubled mind. But the 8:19 doesn't run anymore, so instead I lay my head against a cell phone and talked to Mona and we chatted about the old days, back when there were cabooses and hitchhikers and front porches and cars had engines you could tinker with and the songs on the radio were songs we loved to sing and men wore hats and looked classy in them and people were less snobby because they'd been through the Depression and gradually I felt reassured about my place in the natural order, like a goose in the left wing of a V hearing my fellows honking fore and aft as we skim over the treetops, flapping with one wing, holding a cell phone with the other.

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Garrison Keillorís "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.

07/28/05: The inexorable ascent of a Harvard man
07/15/05: Reining in the dog days of summer
07/01/05: The Land of the Free and the Home of the Berries

© 2005 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.