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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

Stepping Outside of Ourselves

By Gary Rosenblatt





The ancient holiday of Sukkos is perfectly in sync with current cultural values

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After the soul-searching introspection and indoor setting of our Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur experiences in synagogue, the holiday of Sukkos (Tabernacles) provides the sharpest of contrasts. Rather than continue to focus on our innermost thoughts and deeds, we are commanded to get outside — outside of ourselves, and outside of our homes, eating our meals under the stars.

This reminder to keep balance in their lives, to be in touch with nature as well as the prayer book, strikes me each year on my visit to the hardware store in preparation for the holiday. I smile on seeing bookish young Torah scholars inquiring about hammers, pliers and extension cords, part of the annual imperative — and opportunity — to forego the study hall for a week for the religious duty of eating (and for some, sleeping) in the sukkah.

G0d commands us: "You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord." (Leviticus 23:42-43)

In this way we recall the wanderings of our ancestors in the desert for 40 years, between their exodus from Egypt and their entering the Promised Land of milk and honey. They had no permanent shelter during those four decades, but were protected by G0d's presence in the form of a cloud by day and fire at night, with manna falling from the heavens each weekday to provide nourishment.

The ancient holiday of Sukkos is perfectly in sync with current cultural values, from its emphasis on agriculture, celebrating the harvest — symbolized by the unity of the four species in the lulav and esrog we hold during prayer — to the practical message of our reliance on and appreciation of nature as we sit in our sukkahs, vulnerable to the elements.

The key component of the sukkah is the s'chach, or roof, which must be made from organic material, such as bamboo or cornhusks; no nails or metal are permitted. And the roof must be thick enough to provide mostly shade but be open enough to let some sunlight in during the day and to see the stars at night.

Just as the Passover seder provides an experiential drama of the Exodus from Egypt — we taste the bitter herbs to remind us of the slavery our ancestors endured and drink four cups of wine to mark their liberation — the time spent in our sukkah on this festival relives the dependency on G0d the Israelites felt during their many years adrift in the desert.

In an age of rampant materialism, when our homes have the most up-to-date technological advances and we can control heat, light and all our needs with the push of a button or click on a computer, the holiday of Sukkos reminds us to stop and appreciate whence our protection truly comes.

Throughout the ages we have learned, tragically, during centuries of wandering in the diaspora, no matter how grand their homes were, they were only as secure as the whim of surrounding governments and societies. Too often the winds of hatred prompted our grandparents and great-grandparents, and those who came before them, to flee for their lives — if they were fortunate enough to escape bloodshed fueled by anti-Semitism.

Today we have the good fortune to live in a country with more religious freedom than any diaspora community in history. But Sukkos reminds us to look beyond our four walls and consider those around the world coping with levels of insecurity we can barely fathom. How many millions live in poverty, are displaced by floods and earthquakes, or face daily repression from corrupt governments?

The blessings in our own lives inspire us to reach out beyond our own needs to attend to those of others, to recognize that our planet's resources are a gift but not a guarantee, and that we must do all we can, in partnership with our Creator, to preserve, protect and enhance this world we share.

On Sukkos we step out of our comfort zone and into the sukkah, reconnecting with ancient traditions and establishing new commitments to sanctify this world and all who inhabit it.

In the coming days, as we sit outside in the cool autumn air, may the warmth of the sun and the nighttime glow of the stars inspire us to reach both heavenward and deep within our hearts to do G0d's work on earth.

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JWR contributor Gary Rosenblatt is Editor and Publisher of the New York Jewish Week.






© 2010, Gary Rosenblatt