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December 2, 2014

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 22, 2014/ 21 Shevat, 5774

The Dream

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was attending a party of some sort. Maybe a diplomatic reception. In a large well-appointed room full of people and din. Everyone was talking. In French. There were tables and chairs but all were standing -- over at the bar or picking and choosing off the buffet in the most careful, cultivated way, à la française. Elegant.

In the room the women come and go talking of . . . Marcel Marceau. Hands are flying everywhere; the French are not among the hand-mute peoples. I'd stepped into a foreign film (Godard? Truffaut?) but one sans subtitles. The film kept changing from black-and-white to color -- a Hitchcock thriller morphed into an old Maurice Chevalier musical.

The young women towered and tottered on their sky-high heels. Rapunzels were everywhere but not a Rumpelstiltskin in sight, though one of the guests bore a distinct resemblance to portraits of Toulouse-Lautrec. Everything turned into color when he appeared, like one of his posters in the Latin Quarter. The costuming was perfect but what was the plot? A clock on the wall was melting in perfect Dali style. I needed a drink.

The bartenders were Arkansas girls. (Ar-kan-sas. n. The name of an American state derived from a French corruption of Quapaw, the downstream people.) The guest of honor was French but somehow Asian. Vietnam? Cambodia? Like my native Louisiana, which once included what became Arkansas, Indochina was once French, too. La Belle France has many children.

The bottles of wine were arrayed in full behind the bar like a cook's tour of the wine-growing regions of France. Impressive. With due premeditation and an anglophone's caution, I settled on a red -- a Chateau Cordeillan-Bages Pauillac 2006. A little fruity, a little dry but not tart, not much nose . . . but what a finish. The wine quieted the din. Slightly.

After a sip of wine, or two or three, I spotted my late wife far across the room; she always wanted to speak French and tried to on those rare occasions when she worked up the nerve. Her accent stayed pure -- pure Waco, Texas. Oh, to hear it again! Her voice, like Daisy Buchanan's, was full of money. And there was about her, always, a soft, Southern, democratic, receptive charm. I hurried to her. Excuse me, pardon, excusez-moi, s'il vous plait . . . but the crowd wouldn't let me through. I lost her. As in my other dreams.

I was resigned to it by now. "In any case," as Jay Gatsby would say, "it was just personal." But one day, or one night, I'll make it to her side again. If they'll just let me up from the underworld to visit.

I try to fit in, chatting with the few familiar faces. My hostess explains that she's from Strasbourg and had married an American. Funny, she doesn't look as if she were from Alsace, that is, square-jawed, round-faced, German. She was born in North Africa, she says. Algérie française? Yes, she explains. Her grandfather had migrated there from Franz Josef's tolerant old Austro-Hungarian empire and house of nations. She'd studied Greek and Latin at university, she says, which explains why she could fit in anywhere. Even here, in this distant outpost of the French disapora.

At one point, she recalls, she'd run a little theater not far from the Arc de Triomphe -- near the Place Charles de Gaulle, named, as she puts it, for the man who gave Algeria away. The way she phrases it brings to mind those of us who remember Jimmy Carter's giving away our canal in Panama. Love and possession never quite cease.

My own grandmother had left Paris just in time -- she arrived in this country and refuge August 31, 1939, a day before the Second World Calamity broke out. Perfect timing for an aging Jewess. In the chaos after the First War, she'd made it to Paris in time to get out barely before the Second. She'd left two daughters behind, my mother's sisters, whom she would never see again. They disappeared early in the war, along with the thousands of others picked up by the gendarmerie in July of 1942 and herded into the Velodrome. They would be handed over to the Germans for Resettlement in the East, i.e., Auschwitz. The Reichsbahn collected the equivalent of a third-class ticket for every Jew packed into a boxcar and sent to the Last Stop. Like good Germans, the SS kept meticulous records.

I heard my grandmother scream just once from the back bedroom when she got the news about her daughters, my aunts. The sound seemed to last forever. Like a siren. And then it was over. To a puzzled little boy, it was unending. I still hear it.

One of my mother's sisters was named Temya, the one who had looked after her during the First War, and now I have a niece named for her. The remembered picture of a dark, brooding Temya in a lost old scrapbook has become the smiling, always cheerful Tammy who now lives deep in the heart of Texas -- a very American transformation . . . .

Goodness. One glass of good wine and I'm out of it, afloat on a sea of memories and family stories. I step into the foyer to find somewhere to sit down for a while and sober up before I get behind the wheel again. But the surreal dream goes on. Pictures appear on the wall. Apparently of some sort of groundbreaking. It's a snapshot of dignitaries digging into the dirt with what appear to be shovel-sized forks. Dali would have liked it.

Then it hits me. This is no dream. This party is for the visiting French consul general, M. Sujiro Seam. He's a charming young man, being French. Enchanté. And this is the new Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute, which is situated about where Little Rock descends into the Dantean vision of urban sprawl outside Benton, Ark.

But now it's time to get back on the access road and then on to what's called reality. Thank you very much, I've had a nice time. Bonsoir, bonne soirée, bonne nuit . . . and y'all hurry back. Out on the interstate four lanes of traffic are hurtling by like accidents waiting to happen. At high speed. The dream is definitely over. Or maybe it's just begun.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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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.

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