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December 2, 2014

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 April 14, 2014 / 14 Nissan, 5774

Passing Over Religion

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a devoted Jewish husband I have been accompanying my wife to the market each year to do our Passover grocery shopping. But recently things have changed. Now I accompany my wife to the marketS, plural, because it has become impossible to buy everything she needs at one store anymore.

While the variety of Passover foods varies greatly from store to store, there is no one store to get all the items required. One stop Passover shopping is just not doable as it once was, at least not where we live. We wind up going to at least three separate markets. Dairy at one, most canned goods and boxed items at another, and chicken at another. Sometimes we make several trips to these markets over the course of weeks since not all the goods are in stock at the same time.

And here's another thing, Passover products have changed over the years. There are loads of "breakfast cereal" and tons of "pasta" (even Passover pizza), waffles, flapjacks, and other silly things that normally are not considered kosher for Passover. Of course these items are made with matzo meal, not wheat but the idea of them is still pretty dopey. The whole idea is to eat differently at Passover; certain foods are eaten and not eaten for good reasons. To my way of thinking, it is disingenuous to mimic non-Passover foods for this holiday.

While the stores are full of the new silly stuff, many of the traditional items have been eliminated altogether. My wife's biggest gripe is the disappearance of onion flavored Nyafat. Made by the Rokeach Company, Nyafat was a Jewish staple in Passover cooking. A vegetable shortening that gave fried foods a delicious sweet onion flavor, it was the perfect shortening to use for fried matzo and matzo brie. Everyone used it once upon a time, now you can't find it anywhere.

I've searched the internet and I can't get a solid reason why the company stopped selling the stuff, but my hunch is that it probably was considered a "bad food" in today's health-conscious world. Nyafat was a hydrogenated shortening made with transfats, you see. And, as everyone knows, transfat is considered only slightly less harmful than say strychnine or arsenic.

Mother's Margarine (sweet, not salted) in easy to use quarter pound sticks is another Passover staple that has been missing in action in recent years. There are other Kosher for Passover margarines which are available of course, but every margarine has its own flavor and when you're dealing with traditional recipes changing margarine makes it hard to achieve the same taste that you had originally.

Sad to say not too many people care about any of this business because there are less and less Jewish Americans who actually keep Passover. Religion in American life is dwindling. In a Pew study done in 2013, when asked to describe themselves religiously, one-in-five American Jews described themselves as atheist, agnostic, or "nothing in particular."

An extensive survey (conducted in 2007) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life detailed statistics on religion in America based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older. More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all.

The survey found that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.

In a recent study of all religions, according to MIT Technology Review, back in 1990 only eight percent of the U.S. population did not have a religious affiliation. Twenty years later in 2010 that number was up to 18 percent. That is a jump of 25 million people.

Will bringing back Nyafat bring Jews back to Passover? I don't know. But I know this, bringing back Nyafat will make Matzo Brie taste better. So it couldn't hurt.

Greg Crosby Archives

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California.

© 2008, Greg Crosby

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