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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 December 16, 2013 / 13 Teves, 5774

Low comedy amid soaring rhetoric

By Mark Steyn



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | “I don’t want to be emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life,” declared Nelson Mandela upon meeting the Spice Girls in 1997. So I like to think he would have appreciated the livelier aspects of his funeral observances. The Prince of Wales, who was also present on that occasion in Johannesburg, agreed with Mandela on the significance of their summit with the girls: “It is the second greatest moment in my life,” he said. “The greatest was when I met them the first time.” His Royal Highness and at least two Spice Girls (reports are unclear) attended this week’s service in Soweto, and I’m sure it was at least the third-greatest moment in all of their lives. Don’t ask me where the other Spice Girls were. It is a melancholy reflection that the Spice Girls’ delegation was half the size of Canada’s, which flew in no fewer than four Canadian prime ministers, which is rather more Canadian prime ministers than one normally needs to make the party go with a swing.

But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”



Still, South African officials are furiously pointing fingers (appropriately enough) to account for how he wound up on stage. “I do not think he was just picked up off the street. He was from a school for the deaf,” Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for Persons with Disability, assured the press. But the Deaf Federation of South Africa said it had previously complained about his nonsensical signing after an event last year. Mr. Jantjie was paid a grand total of $85 for his simultaneous translation of the speeches of the U.N. secretary-general, six presidents, the head of the African Union and a dozen other dignitaries. Ms. Bogopane-Zulu notes that the going rate for signing in South Africa is $125 to $165. So she thinks a junior official may simply have awarded the contract to the lowest bid.

That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while, a mere foot-and-a-half away, Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him on stage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. In the movie version – “In The Sign Of Fire” – grizzled maverick Clint Eastwood will be the only guy to figure it out at the last minute and hurl himself at John Malkovich, as they roll into the orchestra pit with Malkovich furiously signing “Ow!” and “Eek!” But in real life I expect they’ll just double the motorcade to 240 vehicles and order up even more expensive reflector shades.

Also pondering security issues was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He returned home from the service to find that, while he’d been out hailing Mandela as the father of the new South Africa, his house had been burgled. One suspects that Mr. Mandela, for whom a little of the garrulous archbishop went an awful long way, would have enjoyed this rather more than he ought. Speaking of enjoying themselves, back in the VIP seats President Obama, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron carried on like Harry, Hermione and Ron, snogging in the back row during the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup presentation. As the three leaders demonstrated their hands-on approach, Michelle Obama glowered straight ahead, as stony and merciless as the 15-foot statue of apartheid architect Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd that once stood guard outside the government offices of the Orange Free State. Eventually, weary of the trilateral smooching, the First Lady switched seats and inserted herself between Barack and the vivacious Helle. How poignant that, on a day to celebrate the post-racial South Africa, the handsome young black man should have to be forcibly segregated from the cool Aryan blonde. For all the progress, as Obama himself pointed out, “our work is not yet done.”

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Amidst all the jollity, one man was taking things awfully seriously. Ted Cruz ducked out of the service when Raul Castro rose to speak. I confess I’m not quite sure about the etiquette of walking out during a funeral. Unlike Sen. Cruz, whom I doubt Mandela had even heard of, the Castros were old friends. It seems a little churlish to show up at the funeral of a longtime communist and complain that they’ve booked the president of Cuba. It would be like attending Obama’s funeral and complaining that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is officiating, and Bill Ayers is singing “How Great Thou Art.” Surely, Cruz could have done what Obama and Cameron did during the longueurs and found a Scandinavian prime minister to make out with.

Alas, far from the face-pulling selfies, Mandela jokes are no laughing matter. Simon Amstell (who appears to be a comedian in the same sense that Thamsanqa Jantjie is a sign-language interpreter) visited BBC Radio and quipped that “it’s so white in here Mandela would not approve.” Shortly thereafter, the host apologized on air lest anyone was offended. Which they were, because Mr. Amstell himself subsequently apologized on Twitter. Neil Phillips did not get off so lightly. During the final stages of the African leader’s slowly deteriorating health, Mr. Phillips, who runs the Crumbs sandwich shop in the English town of Rugeley, had gone online and complained: “My PC takes so long to shut down I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela.” The Staffordshire Constabulary arrested him, seized his computers, and, in the course of an eight-hour detention, fingerprinted and DNA-swabbed him.

“There are no jokes in Islam,” Ayatollah Khomeini sternly warned, and that’s true even for its “moderate” redoubts, where Shez Cassim, a U.S. citizen from Minnesota, has languished in a Dubai jail cell since April for making a video mildly parodic of United Arab Emirates youth. But, as Mr. Phillips discovered, there are fewer jokes outside Islam, too. Once upon a time, it was the communist Eastern Europe that policed gags, as captured in Milan Kundera’s first great novel. Now even in free societies an infelicitous jest can lead to a rap sheet. In such a world, we should treasure the hilarity of the Mandela service. “Nelson Mandela stood for freedom,” his successor Jacob Zuma said. “He wanted everyone to be free.” Unfortunately, some of the crowd booed Zuma, so he’s now having them investigated for embarrassing him.

Still, let’s take Zuma at his word: Mandela wanted everyone to be free. Free to sign-translate the U.N. secretary-general’s speech into total codswallop. Free to cop a feel from the Danish prime minister. And free, for all the loftiness of the forgettable rhetoric, to relish the low comedy all around it.


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© 2013, Mark Steyn

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