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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

Legal Larceny

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson





Investigating the hidden cost of free money

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | 70 million Britons can't be wrong. Can they?

Well, since our cousins across the pond boil their meat and drink warm lager, maybe the British love affair with one-pound coins was not the best indicator that Americans would willingly part with their one-dollar bills. Given the spectacular failures of the Susan B. Anthony dollar and the Sacagawea gold coin, hindsight seems better than 20/20.

If experience were not enough, a 2008 Harris poll found that three-fourths of people questioned prefer their dollars in bill form, leaving little room for doubt. According to NPR, however, dollar-coin proponents remain undeterred. When asked about the poll, Leslie Paige, who represents watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, replied, "I suspect that they just don't understand what the up sides are." Ms. Paige believes the government should remove the dollar bill from circulation, thereby forcing Americans to use the coins.

In the meantime, over a billion newly minted coins line the shelves of government reserve vaults sealed in plastic bags. At a production cost of 30 cents per coin, that's $300 million dollars of tax money spent on very pretty gold-colored trinkets that no one may ever use, with more being added to the pile every day.

Some, however, have found a way of turning fool's gold into the genuine article.

In an effort to popularize the coins, the United States Mint has offered to mail coin orders to buyers free of shipping charges. Enterprising "travel hackers" quickly figured out that they could buy the coins, rack up frequent-flier points on their credit cards, then deposit the coins to their bank accounts to pay off their credit card bills. Officials began catching on when they noticed repeat orders adding up to as much as $600,000 worth of coins; they got another clue when banks reported receiving deposits of coins still in their Mint wrappers.

"We've used them to go on trips around the world," Jane Liaw told NPR, saying that she and her husband are planning trips to Greece and Turkey, "all on miles and points."

"It's not illegal," says Mint spokesman Tom Jurkowsky, "But it's an abuse of the system… The system was set up to promote the use of dollar coins and we are simply trying to do the right thing here."

NOLO CONTENDRE
It's not illegal.

Sadly, this seems to be the mantra of modern morality. If the government hasn't legislated against it, there's no reason not to do it. Everything that is not forbidden is permitted.

How recently have we witnessed the fallout from this mentality: the false promises of 125% home mortgages to insolvent borrowers, the loan-bundling that turned a fraction of a percent advantage into multimillion dollar profits, the obscene bonuses paid to executives with government bail-out money. None of these practices was illegal, even though they caused and perpetuated an economic tailspin from which the middle and lower classes have yet to recover.

The attraction of easy money is irresistible, it seems, no matter what the risk.


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Ironically, the decline of the America work ethic coincides with many Americans working harder than ever. But appearances can be deceiving. While people do indeed put in longer hours, increasingly those hours are frittered away texting, tweeting, checking email, and playing solitaire. Indeed, even when working hard, many of us seem motivated less by a desire to do our jobs well than by the passionate longing to escape work altogether, either through exotic forms of recreation or early retirement.

I can't help but remember the way my English professor described Shakespeare's Prince Hal, who fearlessly charged into battle and "fought like hell for the privilege of not having to work for a living."

I also can't help but apply the teaching of the sages in the Talmud when they remarked, "Love work, despise lordliness, and do not become overly familiar with the government."

The Hebrew word for "work" employed here is malachah, derived from the root meaning "walking" or "traveling forward." To involve oneself in any pursuit that is productive, creative, or designed to benefit those with whom we share our world - this is highest calling of civilized society. This kind of work is truly the labor of love. Moreover, by dropping the feminine ending, the word malachah becomes malach, commonly translated as "angel;" when we strive to create a better world we simultaneously transform ourselves into divine emissaries of the Almighty.

ILL-GOTTEN GAINS
In contrast, the sages warn us to despise "lordliness," the lust for power that seeks to control others and harness their efforts for personal advantage. More and more, we witness the investment of time and energy in profit without production, in clever tricks to generate income effortlessly without contributing anything to society in return, in seeking the spoils of lordliness at the expense of those who perform real work.

Finally, the sages warn us against over-familiarity with the government, since it is the nature of rulers to care for little except their own continued hold on power. Even in our democratic government, too many of our elected officials are motivated either by their own lusts and avarice or by the conviction that they know what is best for the people no matter how much evidence testifies to the contrary.

In truth, there is no greater satisfaction than that derived from an honest day's work; neither is there any shortage of individuals desperate to avoid labor at all costs, or to exploit the labors of others to feather their own nests. And no matter how hard it tries, government will never succeed in legislating noble values or a human conscience.

Just ask Ben Schlappig, who writes a travel hacker blog. According to NPR, Schlappig brags that he has "a few million miles" and top-tier status with several airlines.

"Just last week I came back from a trip from Australia and Singapore and Malaysia all in first class, just on miles," he says, "partly thanks to the dollar coin program."


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JWR contributor Rabbi Yonason Goldson teaches at Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, MO, where he also writes and lectures. He is author of Dawn to Destiny: Exploring Jewish History and its Hidden Wisdom, an overview of Jewish philosophy and history from Creation through the compilation of the Talmud, now available from Judaica Press. Visit him at http://torahideals.com .






© 2011, Rabbi Yonason Goldson