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 Sept. 28, 2005 / 24 Elul, 5765

Ambition and the honesty of everyday work

By Garrison Keillor

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | People tell me I work too hard, but I don't work nearly so hard as my mother did, raising six children, cleaning, cooking, washing clothes and hanging them out on the line, and then there was the late-summer orgy of canning. We scoured the garden for every last tomato, string bean, ear of corn, cucumber. The kitchen was a boiler room.

Billows of steam from the pressure cooker, teakettles boiling — hot water to skin the tomatoes! Boiling water to sterilize the glass jars! Children chopping and slicing!

Mother slaving away, her hair damp as if she'd swum the Channel, sterilizing, steaming, aware that one little mistake could mean a jar full of botulism — "Clostridium botulinum," which is Latin for "pushing up daisies." One jar of stewed tomatoes gone bad could wipe out our whole family.

But she plowed forward and fulfilled her quotas, a hundred jars of tomatoes, fifty of beans, twenty of corn, plus beets and corn relish, in elegant Ball jars with the name "Ball" in cursive writing on the side, all lined up on deep shelves in the basement, and then she cleared the kitchen so she could start fixing supper.

Today, home canning has gone the way of the typewriter, the vacuum tube and the TV variety show. The Ball company sold off its jar division and now makes satellite sensors or something, and groceries stock fresh tomatoes all winter, imported from Mexico, which cost a buck apiece and taste more like tennis balls than tomatoes. But at least you don't have to stand in a steamy kitchen and ruin your hairdo.

Mother canned vegetables to please my father, who tucked into his stewed tomatoes satisfied that we had outsmarted the supermarket cartels scheming to sell us inferior stuff at exorbitant prices. He was a resistant consumer who instinctively distrusted all advertising, believing the world was full of con men, and you had to outsmart them by growing your own food, slaughtering your own chickens, shopping around for cheap clothes, reading the Bible and paying no attention to theologians, and sticking to Ford automobiles.

I think of him and his brothers and cousins, taciturn country men who were good with their hands and loved to get under the hood of a '53 Ford, their big rumps in the air, heads and shoulders down next to the engine block. They were proud of their good carpentry, their gardens and orchards, the concrete steps and sidewalks they had mixed and poured and smoothed with a two-by-four. I set myself apart from them as a boy, thinking their work dull, preferring the swashbuckling life of a writer — Brilliance! Wit! Triumph! And gradually it dawns on me these fall days when I get to go into the woods and put on work gloves and cut my own firewood, that in search of brilliance I also found a great deal of B.S. as I went careering around and flaunting my great intellect in long meetings at which we may as well have been dropping clothespins into bottles for all the good we did, compared to which cutting firewood is useful work.

Ambition can take you far, but who are you when you get there?

I know plenty of people who could work up an expensive marketing plan to persuade you that having a doohickey is crucial to your well-being, and I know nobody personally who could build a stone wall or mill timber or drill a well. It's odd, but that's the world we live in. Here's Northwest Airlines, a good Minnesota company hijacked by corporate buccaneers in the go-go Eighties and now stiffing its mechanics, hard-working people who actually know how to do something right.

We're not so different from the English gentry who settled on the Minnesota prairie in the 1870s and expended their capital to build a hunt club, a boating club, an Anglican church, and a brewery to produce ale and porter. Unfortunately, they didn't know how to plant wheat. They didn't scatter the seed, they knelt down and pressed it into the ground, one at a time. The grasshoppers wiped them out clean. Their land was bought cheap by peasant Swedes from Småland who did much better. They baked the grasshoppers in a crust and called it pecan pie. They put their shoulders to the wheel and hammered and cut and made a life with their own hands.

Beware of losing basic skills. Hang onto that pressure cooker.

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