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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

Our lives as history's preservers

By Rabbi Avi Shafran



Time Space Fabric from Bigstock




A Tisha B'Av memory

(Reprinted from our August 10, 2000 issue)


JewishWorldReview.com | Every year, Tisha B'Av -- which this year starts at nightfall July 15 and lasts for 25 hours -- brings back a personal memory of a conversation that took place more than two decades ago on the outskirts of a non-religious kibbutz in the Galil, on a hill overlooking a lush valley.

The teen-aged cousins, one born and bred on the kibbutz, the other an American newcomer to the Holy Land on a short visit before the start of his yeshiva's academic term, had first met only days earlier.

They had been speaking about family, personal experiences, and sundry things their very different lives nevertheless had in common. And then, the observant boy mentioned, entirely en passant, the imminence of the Jewish fast day known as Tish'a B'Av.

"We don't observe that holiday on the kibbutz," his cousin pointed out. "The Temple's destruction just isn't relevant to our lives here."

The American boy hesitated for a long moment before asking, "Do you observe any Jewish day of mourning?"

"Sure," came the reply. "Yom HaShoah," Holocaust Day.

Another pause, this one longer. The yeshiva student knew that the national day of Jewish mourning, Tish'a B'Av, on one level encompassed every tragedy in Jewish history, that not only was the first Jewish Holy Temple destroyed on that day (2420 years ago), and the second one, (1930 years ago), on the very same day, but that the rebel Jewish forces at Betar were annihilated by the Romans on it as well.



He knew, too, that the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290, and from France in 1306 and from Spain in 1492 all happened on Tish'a B'Av as well. He also knew that what was quite arguably the true genesis of what would culminate in Germany's "Final Solution" -- the First World War -- began on Tish'a B'Av. But somehow it didn't seem the right time for a history lesson.

So, instead, he asked his cousin, "Is your commemoration of the Holocaust really important to you?"

"Absolutely," came the reply. "The Holocaust underlies our very identity as Israelis and as Jews."

The American weighed the wisdom of actually saying what he wanted so to say. He decided the blood-bond was strong enough to handle it.

"Will you expect your children to pay its memory the same respect that you do?"

"Of course."

"To feel the same sorrow, to have the same determination that you do?"

"Of course," the Israeli replied. "My generation will see to it that our children recognize the importance of the Holocaust, how it defines their identity, how important it must continue to be to all Jews."

"And will you expect them, in turn, to transmit the same conviction to their own children -- and theirs to theirs?"

"Absolutely. Forever. To us it is that important."

The American swallowed hard, then spoke.

"Like the first attempts to destroy our people and its faith were to our own ancestors."

Nothing else was said for the moment. The two young men walked back to the kibbutz in silence.

It could well be argued that a large part of what characterizes "Orthodox" Jews is a heightened sense of history. Not only of its vicissitudes and tragedies for our people, but, most importantly, of its seminal Jewish moment, the unequalled event that bequeathed us our mandate to cherish, study and observe the Torah --- the revelation of G-d to His people.

Whether a Jew, G-d forbid, willfully rejects the divine origin of the Torah or simply lacks the background to have given the issue much thought, what he denies, or is oblivious to, is an historical fact --- the mass-witnessed and painstakingly transmitted event at Sinai that lies at ground-zero of the Jewish people and the Jewish faith.


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All who aspire to the appellation "observant" are, in essence, the keepers of Jewish history, recent and ancient, and are entrusted with the mission of sharing the memory of the Jewish past --- both its nadirs and its apogee - with all their fellow Jews.

Should the Messiah tarry further, G-d forbid, a day may well come when all testimony of the events of a half-century ago will be indirect, arriving only through books and films, or third-hand accounts.

The facts, though, of what happened during those years, the horrible details of Jewish Europe's destruction, will endure, because there will always be Jews determined to hold fast to the entirety of our history, to maintain the memory of what happened a half-century ago.

And 1930 years ago, and 2420 years ago.

And 3312 years ago, in the Sinai desert.

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Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Rabbi Avi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.



© 2013, Rabbi Avi Shafran

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