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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. 22, 2013/ 19 Kislev, 5774

Thanks to the Almighty

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For the first time since 1918 Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide, which by the way won't happen again until 2070 (save the date). All the jokes about turkeys stuffed with Hanukkah gelt and potato latkes smothered in cranberry sauce have been done to death. I won't subject you to anymore of that here. So you can be thankful for that.

Most Americans have the mistaken impression that Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas since it normally falls closer to December 25th than to the last Thursday in November. But Hanukkah has always been more about thanksgiving than gift-giving. The Talmud describes the days of Hanukkah as days of praise and thanksgiving, so it's really a perfect fit that the American Thanksgiving should fall on the first day of Hanukkah this year.

Actually, Judaism and America have been linked since the very beginnings of our country. America was founded on Judeo/Christian beliefs. The Jewish Bible was important to the Christians who settled here. They saw themselves as heirs to the Hebrew Bible, every bit as much as to theirs. In many ways they strongly identified with the Jews.

Thomas Jefferson saw the correlation between the Jews looking for a new homeland and the people of the new United States of America. That's why he wanted the design of the seal of the United States to depict the Jews leaving Egypt. Just as the Hebrews left Egypt in search of freedom, Americans left Europe in search of freedom.

Literally giving thanks to G0D is the meaning of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, or should be. That's not to say Grandma shouldn't cook up big, delicious turkey dinners, Dad shouldn't watch college football games, and uncles and aunts shouldn't curl up with nephews and nieces to play dreidel or do jigsaw puzzles. We can and should relax and enjoy the day with our families.

But we mustn't forget the real meaning behind why we're gathered together at this time. Take Thanksgiving for example. On December 21, 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Through the dead of winter the colony struggled with poor and meager food, strenuous labor, a chilling wind and the ravages of disease. Nearly half the 102 Mayflower passengers perished. But G0D sent Indians to help the English settlers with their farming in the spring.

The bountiful harvest that autumn led Governor Bradford to invite the Indians to celebrate God's goodness. Ninety braves accepted the invitation to join the Pilgrims in a feast of Thanksgiving to G0D for His blessings. Today we eat a Thanksgiving feast to commemorate the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving and to thank God for all of our blessings.

Hanukkah thanks G0D too. During this time Jewish people remember how their ancestors reclaimed the holy Temple from the Syrian-Greeks and then rededicated it to G0D. In celebration of their victory over their oppressors they wanted to light the menorah but only had enough oil for one day. Miraculously the oil lasted for eight days, thanks to G0D. "The Festival of the Lights" commemorates this miracle.

Thanking the Almighty for His blessings on us, our families, and our friends should never be left out as we sit down to eat our holiday feasts. So much of contemporary life is devoid of manners, religious faith and good old fashioned humbleness. Many of us have become self-centered, with little or no thought of others around us, let alone of G0D. This attitude is not smart, urban or "cool." It is just empty, hollow and cold.

This year take time out to appreciate what you have and thank God for all your blessings. Open your heart to a power higher than yourself. Instead of taking "selfies" of your face stuffed with turkey and posting them on social media, put down your smart phone and focus on something more important than you. Try bowing your head and say a littler prayer of gratitude for the good things in your life. Believe me, it's good for your digestion and your food will even taste better.

Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Hanukkah.

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

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