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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 August 7, 2007 / 23 Menachem-Av, 5767

About Face

By Rosally Saltsman

Aging? Our countenance is the mirror of the soul


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At the bus stop the other day, an older man with a cane approached. His face radiated such jocularity and positivity, that I had an urge to ask him about his life.


I couldn't help feeling that he had an interesting tale to tell.


We smiled at each other and the bus finally arrived. The older man found a seat on the aisle. Even though there was a seat beside him, I felt awkward asking him to move to let me pass. Moving was, after all, obviously difficult for him. Instead, I just sat behind him, letting him enjoy his bus ride in peace.


The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel written in Oscar Wilde's prolific literary career. It's a classic. It's truly one of the great works of literature. For those of you who haven't read the book — it was only last year that I actually did so myself — Dorian Gray is an exceptionally charming and handsome man. A friend, and admirer of his, paints his portrait and Dorian expresses the wish that he could remain as handsome and young as the portrait and that the portrait age in his stead. He gets his wish. But not only does the portrait age, its features change and grow uglier as Dorian slowly immerses himself in a sordid and reprehensible lifestyle full of ignoble deeds.


After completing the book, I couldn't help feeling that I had heard this message before. Some of the book's ideas expressed were familiar to me. And then I realized, they're in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers).


There are two very Jewish concepts here — one being that virtue brings more virtue in its wake, while sin begets sin begets sin. Indeed, at one point Dorian tries to extricate himself from the quagmire of iniquity in which he is drowning. It's too late; his portrait, which reflects his soul, has already been sullied beyond repair.


Which brings me to another Jewish salient idea: The face is the mirror of the soul.


In Proverbs, King Solomon writes, "As in water face answers face, so does the heart of man to man". There is a connection between a person's face and his heart. But it isn't our looks that reflect our innate character. It's the light we project. The laugh lines indicating joy. The brightness of our eyes and the marks left by compassion or disdain. Dorian's face was etched with each transgression he committed.


What intrigued me about the old man at the bus stop were the notes of the history of his life, inscribed lovingly in his facial features.


I have always enjoyed looking a bit younger than my age, but time is catching up with me. I wonder how in the age of plastic surgery and beauty treatments, of reverence for youth and wrinkle-free skin, I could possibly survive the next few decades with my ego intact.


Dorian Gray never lost his looks but his portrait reflected the decadent rogue that he had become. He had locked his portrait away to avoid seeing his decline. But our maturing faces aren't meant to be hidden. They act as a barometer showing us the wisdom gleaned over many years of life experience or the mistakes we are too stubborn to correct; the number of times we have smiled at others or the number of times we have frowned in disapproval or furrowed our brows in worry.


Our faces are the roadmaps of our lives and the lines mark our journey. Sure, looking young and beautiful is great but it is internal beauty that we need to nurture.


Youth is beautiful because it reflects unsullied innocence and unlimited potential. But age has a superior beauty because it reflects accomplishment and sagacity. It is potential realized. You see someone, and what they have weathered, more clearly with the passing of time. That's why older skin is translucent — it's letting the soul shine through.


Despite all the preoccupation with restoring our youthful appearance, it is our souls that we have to give a face-lift to. It is our souls, like a portrait, that is left at the end of our lives to testify to our accomplishments and value. Our external veneer isn't meant to be a fašade. It is the cover of a book worth reading.


Dorian only had one picture. I have literally thousands of pictures documenting me at different points in my life. They do not age. While I enjoy looking at the pictures in my albums that show a younger me, the older I get, the more my beauty is not only skin deep.


A young girl offered me a seat later on that same day at another bus stop. I guess she recognized the beauty that comes with age.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes uplifting stories. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Rosally Saltsman has written a novel called Soul Journey. You can see it at her website, here.






© 2007, Rosally Saltsman