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 1, 2007 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5765

Holding out for a hero?

By Michael Elkin

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The wait is over, thanks to super Stan Lee

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | POW! BAM! BARUCH HASHEM!

Baruch Hashem (Blessed be G-d)?

And why not? When you're a superhero named Mr. Mitzvah, who's going to make fun of flying tzit-tzis (ritual fringes)?

Look, up in the sky, it's a pareve, it's a blintz, it's ... what is that shmatta that shmendrick is wearing?

No, he's no supershmendrick: He's Ivan Wilzig, in real life, mild-mannered recording artist/philanthropist. But at night — Mr. Mitzvah!

But not just any night: Every Thursday night for eight glorious superpower playoffs, until the question of "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" is answered in the finale on the Sci Fi Channel.

Mr. Mitzvah, you're looking Marvel-ous. And should his mitzvah mobile run over all nine other competitors, he may very well be the next star to tell his story in a new edition from Dark Horse Comics, as well as be turned into an action figure.

Dark horse of a cosmic contestant? First he'll have to prove his otherworldliness to none other than the show's Stan Lee, chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics whose legacy is an incredible hulk of heroes who have graced comic-book panels since the Fantastic Four were merely Pretty Good.

As close to a comic icon as one can get, and closing in on 87, the marvel who brought Spider-Man, X-Men, the Hulk, Iron Man and Daredevil to life, dares to be devilish, yet quick-witted with answers and advice for more cloaked contestants than any cape cad could go up against.

He is the real Captain America in an era of general malaise, fighting the good fight with a SMACK, BOP and PLAGOOEY to prejudice. That, he allows, has always been important in his work, created alongside Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — eviscerating evil through a good dose of ... goodness.

Goodness knows, he has been ecumenical in equalizing the evildoers. Who can forget Izzy Cohen of Sergeant Fury and the fury he created in the World War II comic?

Not that Lee — his Romanian émigré Jewish parents knew him as Stanley Martin Lieber — has ever focused solely on Jewish giants of power. He may have co-created the character of the Thing, but making him Jewish wasn't his thing. That evolved when different writers took over the character years later.

But the prospects of Izzy Cohen tag-teaming with Mr. Mitzvah as Jewish juggernauts ... tag, you're it, Stan.

"I love the idea of team-ups," he says. "But a better choice for Mr. Mitzvah" would be a non-Jewish character. "That would be more all-encompassing."

With the universe as his superpower compass, Lee has encompassed and captained the American dream. Not bad for a kid born at 98th Street and West End Avenue in New York who saw his fortunes head north over the years, and would one day become the life of the party — and comic conventions worldwide.

His perfectionist sense that each character needed a flaw to give him an element of humanity empowers readers to associate with the superheroes even more. Call it a comic-cornucopia of fatal attractions that could help the world live in peaceful harmony.

What the World Needs Now ...
"The world is in need of somebody who could bring different sects together," is Lee's law as he laments "that there's too much hatred in the world."

Spanning that world with good works is tzedakah (charity) at its most powerful. And, speaking of spanning, Stan ... "I'm jealous," is the flaw he'll fess up to — coveting the spandex superheroes wear.

What it covers is key to their success. "What we're looking for is what is inside of them," says Lee of such TV "Superhero" supplicants as Mindset ("a telekinetic time traveler on a mission to end all wars," who got his position thanks to Internet audience mindsets, who voted him in); Hygena, who cleans up "crime and grime making weapons from all types of cleaning utensils," the superhero version of WMD — weapons of meal digestion; and Basura, a bugger of a braveheart who uses insects "to turn trash into treasures."

Sound like a familiar family feud? Those parents who once trashed their kids' comics threw out a treasure trove in doing so. Comics now make book not just on kids as their target audience but their parents, too.

And who's kidding who when it comes to taking life the Lee way; this octogenarian still has the octane fuel firing up his soul to baby BOOM a baddie. "I never thought of myself as a superpower," relates the model of humility — as well as the model of his own action figure just shown at a comics convention.

Figures Lee would downplay that a bit; with credit to DC Comics, his self-deprecation is part of what makes him such a super man.

And mensh. Not that there's much left for him to accomplish.

"Well, I haven't [starred] in a movie — I'm no threat to Sean Connery."

Dr. No with a good sense of humor? Lee's been lauded worldwide for all the good he's accomplished, with a special space reserved for him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year.

And while Lee's recognized by superhero superfans whenever he makes film cameos — he's the one in "Spider-Man 3" who tells Peter Parker, "You know, I guess one person can make a difference" — Lee originally thought he would make a difference in the world as a novelist.

Turn the page on that one: "Now I have no patience for [writing] a novel."

It has been an excellent — no, make that "excelsior," his mantra — career of novel proportions. But the man behind the Fantastic Four has a fantastic admission to make; he hasn't seen the screen version this summer.

Why not? Holding out for a hero? Ha — he's invented most of them!

"I have no time to go to the movies," he laments. "I'll wait for when it comes out on DVD."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider must-reading. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Michael Elkin is Arts & Entertainment Editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Comment by clicking here.

© 2007, Philadelphia Jewish Exponent