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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. 31, 2007 / 12 Shevat, 5767

Simple gifts

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A Russian once told me that the great thing about getting drunk in the morning was that it cleared your whole day. How Russian.


That was back when there was still a Soviet Union of late, unlamented memory — a regime capable of driving anyone to drink and worse. The Russian wrote for Novosti, Pravda or some such "news" agency. No wonder he drank.


Poor fellow, he was what we soon learned to call a Sovjournalist — as opposed to a real one.


There is no more Soviet Union, but one suspects things haven't changed all that much under the newest tsar. The suspicion is confirmed every time a real journalist is killed in Russia.


The great challenge, there and here, remains just to reflect the ordinary, everyday truths of life. And not let our own journalism block the view.


In a free country, readers provide a healthy corrective, which is what letters to the editor are for. In countries not as free, the criticism takes the form of censorship. Or an assassin's bullet. Some killers act under cover of law, others are moved by their own fanaticism.


In any society riven by hatreds or suppressed by iron rule — the two tend to go together, like some kind of fatal syndrome — a rare writer may come along who lets the reader see the ordinary truths of life through prose as clear as plate glass. And the sight is enough to enrage those who want him silenced.


Such a writer is living on borrowed time. See the murder of the Armenian/Turkish/just human Hrant Dink in Istanbul.


He knew it would happen one day or another. "I feel like a pigeon," he wrote in what would be his last article. "Like a pigeon I wander uneasily amidst this city, watching my back constantly, so timid and yet so free."


Fresh flowers now mark the spot on the busy street where he was shot down. His funeral goes on every day.


If you want to really clear up your day so you really see it, rather than just go through it in a fog, start it with a funeral. It puts things in perspective. It carves the rest of the day in bas-relief. The trivial is gently blown away, no longer worth bothering with. The vital leaps out: friends, family, and those ordinary courtesies and delights of life that are anything but ordinary, like the presence of love. All are heightened after a funeral. How could we ever have overlooked them, lived without them?


At 11 o'clock Wednesday morning, I was hurrying into Temple B'nai Israel here in Little Rock for the funeral of a great lady who had no great airs. Yes, there are still such; just look around. This lady's name was Bea Marks, and I thought of her as the last Yiddish speaker in Arkansas.


Whenever I saw her, I would try to refresh my poor, neglected, faded-beyond-hope childhood Yiddish. She was patient but exact. She expected you to do your part.


Yet the most eloquent thing about Beatrice Brint Marks was her silent glance, which took you in at once. If you pleased her, it was apparent, and you were rewarded by just being able to stand next to such as she, and share the same wordless bond. If not, poor posturing thing, you could tell she hoped you would do better in the future.


It was the final tribute to Bea's presence that the crowded glass-walled main sanctuary of the temple, which was made to worship the Lord of Hosts on high holidays with blasts on a ram's horn and sonorous injunctions, had the air Wednesday morning of a quiet conversation around the kitchen table. How very much like Yiddish, that most diminutive of languages, that kitchen language.


Isaac Bashevis Singer, who received the Nobel Prize for his writings in Yiddish, said it was the only language on earth he knew about that was never spoken by people in power. Naturally most of its speakers, millions of them, were murdered. There's a lesson in that: It is a terrible thing to be powerless. I hope my pacifist friends are listening.


It is the simple, ordinary human truths that most provoke the violent, and most alarm the empty, abstract, secretly insecure thing called The State.


They are also the truths that most affect us, and that we most need to hear.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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.

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