JWR Schticks and groans

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 Oct. 25, 2007 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

What's the big idea?

By Andrew Silow-Carroll

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You probably heard by now that Brandeis University is holding a competition for The Next Big Idea in Jewish life. Philanthropist Charles Bronfman is backing the competition, whose lucky winner will spend two salaried years at the university developing his or her idea into a book-length project that "aims to change the way Jews think about themselves and their community."

I was excited when I heard about this, because I am chockablock with ideas about how to change the Jewish world. But then I thought about having to relocate to Boston, and besides, I have enough time concentrating on one idea for two hours, let alone for two years.

So instead I have decided to make my ideas "open source," and by sharing them here I am offering my blessing to anyone who wants to pick up on the concept and enter it in the contest. Just give me a shout-out in the acknowledgments.

Does anyone on planet Earth who is not a teenager know what to buy a teenager? Too old for toys, too young for Scotch, b'nei mitzva are gift-giving nightmares. You can go the Judaica route, but just how many Kiddush cups can one 13-year-old use? Books are always a nice idea, because they look good on their parents' shelves. So how about an online registry, where Joshua and Ariella can post their wish list, guests can click on "buy me," and everyone can focus on the deeper questions of the day, such as "Are they serving sushi?"

You know the drill: Cocktail hour. Interminable speech by the president. Ditto by the executive director. Guest choir sings the entire Naomi Shemer songbook. And special guest speaker tells how his experience as a pro athlete/television actor/Washington pundit relates to the work of your school/shul/research fund. Meanwhile, the Giants and the Packers are in overtime.

So how about this: Announce a fund-raising goal for the dinner and promise to lop off chunks of time for every step closer you get to the goal. Reach the goal before the dinner — everyone stays home and watches the game!

For the average American Jew, learning Hebrew is like the old TV game show "Beat the Clock." Remember? Gene Wood would announce the stunt: "All you have to do is use this spoon to carry the egg to the bucket." And then he added the challenges: "But you'll be blindfolded — and wearing roller skates!" Modern Hebrew is exactly like that. All you have to do is read these words. But we're going to take away all the vowels. And the capital letters, so you can spend a tormented hour before you realize that 'eye-zen-how-er' is not a verb meaning to invade Korea. And if you want to read Torah, no punctuation! Fun!

So let's finish what Ben-Yehuda started and bring Hebrew orthography into the 13th century. Hey Israel, buy a vowel!

Hagba, or the act of ritually lifting the Torah scroll, is one of the most dramatic moments of Sabbath morning services. And who doesn't like a little drama packed into the morning prayers, like the fear that somebody's uncle will break his wrist trying to lift a 400-pound Torah scroll over his head, after which the congregation will have to fast for the next 30 days?! I say we fund a weeklong camp to coach hagbaniks, with sessions on weight training, technique, and the all-important walking-backward-and-sitting-down-without-landing-on-the-floor. And how about "Fantasy Hagba Camp," where you can train side-by-side with legendary Torah lifters, like Irwin "Six Columns" Zussman of Oceanside, NY?

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.

JWR contributor Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, where this article first appeared. To comment, please click here.

© 2007, Andrew Silow-Carroll