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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 Feb 17, 2012/ 24 Shevat, 5772

Lessons From George Washington

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Only Americans of a certain age remember what the holiday on the third Monday in February is all about. I asked a few high-school students the other day what it is, exactly, we celebrate with "Presidents Day." One young man suggested that it was about selling used cars, since there are so many newspaper advertisements and television commercials announcing "birthday sales."

So much for the original inspiration for the long winter weekend, and a holiday first meant to honor the father of our country on Feb. 22. It wasn't always so.

George Washington deserves better than the mixture of fact and fancy that wraps his memory in gossamer. A lot of what we remember about Washington "ain't necessarily so" — stories about his chopping down his father's favorite cheery tree and throwing a Spanish dollar across the Rappahannock River. The dollar-throwing story was once so well known that Walter Johnson, the famous baseball pitcher, copied the feat with a silver dollar in 1936 to prove that it could have been done if the frugal Washington had been foolish enough to throw away a dollar.

Such fanciful stories were mostly the work of Mason Locke Weems, an itinerant author, book agent and sometime Episcopal rector best known as Parson Weems, who wanted to humanize a leader who had been all but deified after his death. Too bad. Made-up stories weren't necessary because the true facts make Washington seem almost magical. Four bullets in his coat and hat were not enough to kill him in the French and Indian Wars, when two horses were shot out from under him, leading one Indian chief to conclude that "some great spirit would guide him to momentous things in the future."

Of all the Founding Fathers, Washington is the most monumental, literally, reflected in the iconic obelisk commemorating his memory. The cold portraits and sculptural images that have come to symbolize the man were partly of his own making. He cultivated opacity, believing that the less people saw of the flesh and blood man, the more he could accomplish. This earned him "a frosty respect." It's impossible to imagine anyone asking Washington whether he wears boxers or briefs, although Nathaniel Hawthorne mockingly suggested that he "was born with his clothes on and his hair powdered, and made a stately bow on his first appearance in the world."

He was a man of his times. He loved the republic and was determined that a president never be confused with a monarch, though he enjoyed the stagecraft of magnificent white parade horses.

He preferred to be known as a public man, concerned with the public weal, but his public performance and verbal taciturnity do not easily translate into a hero today. Ron Chernow, his most recent biographer, observes in The Wall Street Journal that our first president is even slighted by conservatives, who ought to appreciate his disciplined dignity and love of the Constitution, whose creation he presided over in Philadelphia. In counting up presidential references used in the 19 Republican debates of the current season, he cites 124 for Ronald Reagan, nine for Abraham Lincoln, five for Thomas Jefferson — and only one for Washington.

Hendrik Hertzberg, a reliably liberal essayist for the New Yorker, says tea party enthusiasts who praise the Founding Fathers and recite the Constitution can find little support from the likes of Washington. He overlooks the first president's Farewell Address, in which he insisted that "the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres." Washington further emphasized the importance of religious faith and morality in promoting private happiness and public responsibility.

Of all the Founding Fathers his temperament and his aloofness are at odds with our own culture. His strength resided in his reflective clarity and his vision. He mostly kept silent at the Constitutional Convention because he knew no one would want to oppose anything he said. His mere presence was eloquent. He despised the vitriol that swirled about him in his second term, and even though he and his fellow Federalists contributed to such divisions to achieve a system of debate to get bloodless change in leadership, he warned against establishing permanent political parties. That was revolutionary.

Washington was not a good public speaker and was not much for pressing the flesh. He didn't have to munch blintzes or barbecue or kiss strangers' babies because he didn't have to campaign.

"Now," observes Ron Chernow, "it's reached the point where campaign and governance have really become indistinguishable." That's something for everyone weary of this endless campaign to think about on this three-day holiday.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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