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 Jan 7, 2014/ 6 Shevat, 5774

The way we were --- and are

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are certain passages in much loved and much read and re-read books that have the power to show us how much we have changed while they've remained the same.

It's a bit like paying a visit to the town you're from for the first time in years. All is familiar and nothing is.

What has changed stands out -- as if somebody had put it under a magnifying glass. In place of some nondescript stretch of street you once hardly noticed, a hospital or university has arisen. Or a familiar old landmark has become a vacant lot.

Those features of the landscape that haven't changed bring out all that has changed around them. It's like looking at the fashions of a long-past era and realizing: My, how we've changed! Or like coming across a telling passage from Walker Percy's 1960 novel "The Moviegoer," and being struck by how much the country has changed.

Walker Percy's hero, or at least protagonist, good old Binx Bolling, the moviegoer of the title, is struck by the feeling that all the nice people he deals with in his day job as a stockbroker are, well, already dead. Everything they say is so predictable, so expected, one genteel cliché after another, it's depressing. But our man Binx knows what to do to feel alive again:

"Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals. Though I do not know whether I am a liberal or a conservative, I am nevertheless enlivened by the hatred which one bears the other. In fact, this hatred strikes me as one of the few signs of life remaining in the world. This is another thing about the world which is upsidedown: all the friendly and likable people seem dead to me; only the haters seem alive."

And so ol' Binx will sit down at one of those big, commodious tables in a library reading room and go through one separate but equally partisan magazine after another, nodding in agreement as each scores its rhetorical points. ("Damn right, old son, I say, jerking my chair in approval. Pour it on them.") Then he selects a journal of the opposite persuasion and is just as approving. ("Oh, ho, say I, and hold fast to the chair arm: that one did it: eviscerated! And then out and away into the sunlight, my neck prickling with satisfaction.")

It's not the opinions that delight Binx so much as their conviction -- their energy, sincerity, force and absurd certainty ... their life. They rise like lush islands in the sea of conformity Binx feels all around him.

Those were the days, at the tag end of the great Eisenhowerean consensus, when haters seemed rare enough to be invigorating and civility was so common it was just boring.

Back then you had to go looking for ideologues left or right -- just to make sure the country's political reflexes were still in working order. The way Binx had to check out the magazines at the library. The Nation was still being published in some dingy office somewhere, and William F. Buckley's National Review was still in its infancy. But all else was peace.

All was right with the world. Nice if boring. Children were taught not to discuss politics, religion or other unfit subjects. Or so it all appears in retrospect now that Joe McCarthy is history and Pete Seeger and the Weavers are remembered for their folk music, not their fellow-traveling.

Americans by and large felt we could safely tolerate our crazies, for stability reigned. Franklin Roosevelt's grand coalition of interests had held while the rest of the planet was swept by war and revolution. Even if it was really more of a grand menagerie, with types as disparate as Southern racists and Northern labor bosses safely on display in separate cages.

What FDR began, Ike finished. His wide grin and invisible hand papered over a multitude of ideological differences. There is no solvent for old ideologies like new prosperity, which reduces them to only intellectual abstractions. They become entertainment for the delectation of the Binx Bollings strolling down the American midway like a gawker from a different world.

The largely self-satisfied and self-absorbed world of 1960 was different, at least in hindsight. The political climate was the reverse of today's. Today it is the temperate and civil who stand out as exceptional, and the ideologues who seem everywhere, usually throwing verbal darts at each other. Which can get boring. Or as a letter writer with mental problems once wrote the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Commercial when I wrote its editorials, "It gets boring not having peace of mind all the time."

What happened? Nothing new, really. The country just reverted to its revolutionary self after the brief and unnatural consensus that appeared in the 1950s and was mistaken for normalcy.

Today the kind of free-for-all envisioned by those who wrote the First Amendment is the norm once again. The old triopoly of the television networks is a thing of the past in this Age of the Internet, when anything goes and usually does. Ol' Binx might still be bored today, but it would be by today's wild profusion of ideas, not their rarity.

The moral of this story, if it has one: Beware of what you wish for. It just might come to pass. Do you find peace and tranquility boring, which was Binx's complaint? Very well then, they can be dispensed with easily enough. Just reach for your iPhone, iPad, iPod or iTune and your 24-7 distraction app, your portable little manufactory of News and Entertainment that is neither. You can walk down the street with it and never have to look up at God's sky or a human face. Till all is a partisan jumble and nobody needs to think -- only react -- in the great wave of nothingness that washes over us, leaving the impression that This Is Important.

It isn't.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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 Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.