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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 July 4, 2013/ 27 Tammuz, 5773

We, the Almost Chosen People

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Fourth of July is the highest of the holy days of America's civil religion. We "worship" in outdoor pews, at the barbecue grill with hamburgers and hot dogs. Our civil hymns celebrate America the beautiful, the grand old flag and the dawn's early light. Marching bands inspire the congregation with parades down Main Streets from coast to coast, as we beseech G0D's blessings on America with anthems of hope, unity and gratitude for the democratic spirit that sustains our nation.

The civil "bible" is the Constitution, our catechism the Declaration of Independence. As in Genesis, we had our Cain in the form of slavery, and the impulse to right that gross injustice sprang from deep in the nation's soul, so that freedom would inevitably expand to include everyone.

Robert N. Bellah, the sociologist, christened "The American Civil Religion" a half century ago, inspired by John F. Kennedy's inaugural address recalling the language of the Declaration of Independence: "For I have sworn before you and Almighty G0D the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago." This civil religion includes beliefs, symbols and rituals with the call to bear the burden to defeat the common enemies of man, "tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself."



Civil piety is in the tradition of Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in his autobiography that "the most acceptable service of G0D was the doing of good to men." The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter A. McDougall recalled that Tom Paine's famous pamphlet "Common Sense" echoes Moses instructing the Israelites about to enter the Promised Land to honor both the Lord and the Law. George Washington, in his first inaugural address urged his countrymen to show "pious gratitude."

The Declaration of Independence includes four references to G0D, beginning with the celebrated observation that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." Such sentiments shaped the thoughts of the Founding Fathers without reference to a specific religious denomination, but to common ideas familiar from the Old Testament and ancient Israel. Lyndon Johnson in his inaugural address told how our early immigrants made their covenant with the land "conceived in justice, written on liberty, bound in union ..." The first pilgrims considered their exodus across an unforgiving sea an escape from a king who granted no religious liberty.

With our separation of church and state, the civil religion is not theological, but a philosophical umbrella to unite people of faith and of no faith to enjoy what George Mason described as "the fullest Toleration in the Exercise of Religion." It was Mason who wrote Virginia's Declaration of Independence, tracing the rights of life, liberty and the possession of property to "G0D and Nature, vested in, and consequently derived from, the People." The city on a hill was built with the hard work of those whose faith in G0D enabled them to bring forth on the continent the new nation conceived in liberty.

Our ideals were forged, as the British historian Paul Johnson observes, in a "traditionless tradition," with religion arriving without structural hierarchies. The new world offered a fresh start with the self-evident conviction that all men are created equal, even though for a time we honored that only in the breach.

Abraham Lincoln caught the spiritual nature of America with the wit and insight that Americans are "the almost chosen people," flawed but striving to do and be better. He delivered that observation on his inaugural journey to Washington, stopping in New Jersey to address the legislature, recalling the state's Revolutionary War battlefields where many gave their lives so the nation might live. He referred to himself as the "humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty ... for perpetuating the object of that great struggle."

This week we observed the 150th anniversary of three bloody days at Gettysburg. The men who fought there knew they might not see another Independence Day. They nevertheless gave the last full measure of devotion with neither reluctance nor complaint.

American soldiers stand on foreign soil to fight once more to guarantee our freedom and liberty, this time against enemies who plot against us because they despise what the Declaration of Independence and the Fourth of July are all about. We pray for their safety and cherish their willing sacrifice to guarantee the freedom to worship as the heart dictates, not as harsh instruction of government. The rockets' red glare that lights up the night sky of a glorious Fourth is the reflection of grateful hearts, recognition of our blessings and the faith of our Founding Fathers.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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