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. 4, 2013/ 30 Tishrei, 5774


By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was a guy on television the other day who said that he didn't like feeling scared. Well, that started me thinking that I don't like feeling scared either. Feeling scared, that emotion or instinct or whatever you want to call it, has been a part of human survival ever since the first caveman saw the first predatory mammal running towards him bearing its fangs. Fear is primal and it serves a very important purpose. It's how we know that something not good is about to happen to us.

The dictionary defines fear as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm." This instinctive emotion we possess kicks in to save us from being hurt or maybe even getting killed. It's a warning signal. DANGER! DANGER! It's as if our gut is saying, "Hey stupid, a car is coming at you at 100 MPH, better do something quick or you'll be road kill!" When that feeling comes over us we, hopefully, do something to save ourselves, like jump back out of the way of the car.

But since feeling scared is a precursor to something bad happening, it stands to reason that it is something I never want to experience if I can avoid it. I mean, I would much prefer to feel joyful, or to feel love, or to feel comfort. I would even rather feel a little sad than feel scared. So who DOES want to feel scared? You'd think nobody, right? Wrong. As it turns out, lots of people do. Millions actually go to great lengths to feel scared.

How else do you explain amusement park thrill rides or Halloween haunted houses, or jumping out of airplanes, or swinging on bungee cords? Why do so many people purposely put themselves into a state of fear? Of course we're not talking about our brave military or fire fighters or police. They have to go through rigorous training to overcome their natural fear so that they can protect and save us. No, I'm talking about everyday people who think its "fun" to fool their psyches into thinking that they are in imminent danger.

I never thought it was "fun" to feel like I was in imminent danger, never in my entire life, even as a stupid kid. I never liked rickety roller coasters or fun houses where people jumped out at you, or any sort of crazy amusement park attraction that induced fear. It's not my idea of great fun. Great fun is laughing out loud, eating a wonderful dinner, making love, or playing with a baby - its not getting scared out of your gourd. Have you gotten the idea yet? I just don't like feeling scared.

And yet I enjoy watching old monster movies, but to my way of thinking, watching scary movies doesn't count. When I watch a movie I'm sitting comfortably in my home and not putting myself in a state of possible danger. I know Boris Karloff isn't really going to get me, I know that Lon Chaney Jr. as the wolf man isn't coming through the window. Jumping out of an open airplane, however, is a whole different story. You could actually die if the parachute doesn't open.

According to what I've read, being scared is a very strong aphrodisiac and stimulant to some people. People can get "high" out of getting spooked. It has something to do with fear producing an increase in dopamine release to the system. So what is dopamine? Psychology Today defines it as a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Becoming scared triggers a dopamine rush.

But here's the thing, you can also trigger dopamine by simply eating the right kinds of food, like meat, dairy, nuts and seeds. So what would YOU rather do? Bungee jump or go out and eat a steak dinner at Ruth's Chris? Would you rather flagpole sit from the Empire State Building or have a handful of almonds? Sky dive or have a cheeseburger?

So this Halloween when lots of people will be looking for the scariest things to do to themselves, I'll be soaking up my own brand of dopamine - sitting in my warm and comfy house having a drink, eating a good meal and watching the Frankenstein movie marathon with my wife. Call it the quiet man's dopamine high.

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

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, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby