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 Nov 15, 2011 / 18 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Little Cellist

By Mona Charen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The Little Cellist" is a brightly colored, chipper website aimed at children. There, you can find clips of Julian Lloyd Webber playing "The Swan" from "Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Sa‰ns, as well as quizzes, links to orchestra websites and assorted games for budding musicians. Being past the mid-century mark, I am decades past being a "little" — in the sense of young — anything. Yet, here I am, a middle-aged but eager and diligent beginner, sawing away on the cello. The optimists say it's never too late. I mean to find out if that's true.

When I say, "sawing," that may be too kind to the sounds I've coaxed from this noble instrument in the first few weeks. My husband said he ducked, expecting a huge dragonfly to dive bomb him. My indulgent family endured more repetitions of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" than non-convicts should be expected to hear. But they bore it like men — as well they should (at least the offspring among them) considering the hours — no, years! — I've devoted to their lessons, rehearsals, auditions and practice, practice, practice.

A lifelong music lover, I've raised two musical sons and one music appreciator. One is studying trumpet performance at college (where, he tells me, our game of "name the composer," played informally in our car for years, is now part of the curriculum). Another plays both clarinet and saxophone in high school. The two younger ones attended Interlochen summer camp, where their musical sophistication skyrocketed. The eldest dabbled in the bass guitar, revels in his brothers' accomplishments and seems to have iPod earbuds permanently implanted in his head.

Like many people, I played the piano as a child. But not well. Looking back, I can find excuses for my failure to master the instrument. My teacher was waspish, impatient and bored. She clearly taught for something other than love of children. But, let's be honest, the real reason I didn't master the piano is that I was a lazy and disorganized child. When the pieces got hard, I reverted to playing those I already knew rather than girding for the tough slog through new material.

I'm not lazy anymore.

Yes, yes, I'm a bit old to be a beginner. But starting something at my stage of life is exhilarating. As my friend Rachel Wildavsky (a journalist who recently wrote her first novel) observed, "In middle age, you've been doing the same thing for so long that you feel as if you're on a hamster wheel." Not only that, but you're not as fast on that wheel as you used to be. More often than I'd like these days, I experience what Vladimir Nabokov called "the pen poised pause." A word, or more often, a name that I've known all my life will impishly hide from me, ducking behind other memories so that I cannot summon it. (Rick Perry, my brother!) So much of what we experience after age 40 is decline, so it's terrific fun — as well as a psychological tonic — to undertake something completely new and to see steady progress day after day.

The brain is complicated. My son told me a poignant story of playing a concert at a retirement home. An elderly lady with advanced dementia, who could no longer remember most of her family, could nonetheless sit at the piano and play the "Moonlight" sonata.

The cello is harder, I think, than the piano, though to really excel on anything — even the recorder — is not easy. The geography of the thing requires patient study. "I haven't played any sharps or flats yet," I naively announced to my wonderful teacher during an early lesson. She smiled. "You have, you just didn't realize it." The slightest off placement of a finger on a string will produce a grating sharp or flat. Even the basics of holding the bow are challenging. You need a "soft" hand, and you must pull from the elbow. But be careful not to lift the shoulder! For the first few weeks, I counted it a victory just to succeed at bowing one string at a time without catching its neighbor by mistake.

Unlike my childhood self, I look forward to practicing every day. My ambitions are modest — perhaps to play duets with my sons. An amateur is someone who does it for the love of it. This may be self-delusion, but I think my brain has gotten a little sharper since I began or maybe a little flatter, heh. At the very least, I'm better today than yesterday, and a new world of experience beckons.

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