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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 April 4, 2014 / 4 Nissan, 5774

Poor Paul's Almanac

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | (With apologies to Poor Richard's Almanac -- and a colonial printer named Ben Franklin.)

How to cook pasta: The trick is to keep stirring. Whether it helps the pasta is a secondary consideration. The primary purpose is to clear the mind. It gives the cook one simple thing to concentrate on after a day spent dealing with trivia. All of that goes away as you watch and wait for the water to reach a rolling boil before adding the pasta and then slowly, gently whirling it, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise, then back to ... and all things extraneous evaporate, like the bubbles.

It's like a Buddhist monk reciting the same mantra, or a chasid chanting the same nigun again and again, always going deeper into it, praying continually, or as Benedictine monks say, converting continually, constantly renewing. Done right, repeatedly, the effect is both hypnotic and energizing. You don't just cook the pasta but wash the mind. Maybe it helps the pasta, maybe it doesn't, but it helps you.

A change is as good as a rest, they say. Doing something mindless is a nice change from using the mind all day on tasks not worthy of it.

For example, how do so many people manage to write so poorly? And why do so many of them write to me? Studies Show that 87.6 percent of them send me emails, all of them utterly convinced of the brilliance of their own insights, and the irresistible attraction of their own Great Ideas, or just their own temper tantrums.

Why is that? Because there are a lot of lonely people in the world, and all of them seem to think they're eloquent. They don't write so much as operate under the illusion that they're writing. Expression, so much encouraged these tasteless days, is not the same as exposition. No matter how energetic, the much overrated quality of self-expression will still depend on the quality of the self being expressed. We can't get away from our selves. Better to be still, if only for a moment. The self will be better for it. It can stand a rest.

There's Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time and Military Time, and those are just the start. There's also a Lonely People's Time (it crawls) and a Retired People's Time (which can be fast or slow, depending on the retiree). Then there's Busy People's Time and Never Busy People's Time, and the twain keep meeting, unfortunately. Because the resulting collision isn't pretty. As when an 18-wheeler meets a sports car that has wandered across the center line, R.I.P.

There are perfectly fluent and sensible writers who, when they decide to write about politics, are neither. As when Edmund Wilson, who was Malcolm Cowley's predecessor and mentor as literary editor of the New Republic back in the Thirties, responded to one of Cowley's strange apologias for Stalin by asking: "What in God's name has happened to you?"

What had happened to him was politics, which has ruined more good writers than drink. Wilson's diagnosis of his friend's problem: "I think politics is bad for you because it is not real to you." It was just another art form for Cowley, an abstraction to be critically reviewed in the literary pages, not something real, something that affects the real lives (and all too real deaths) of real people.

There are political writers who draw from real life and their real experiences -- like George Orwell -- and there are those who only project their own drab dissatisfaction with life onto politics. Orwell will last, indeed has lasted. The other kind won't.

. . .

Artists grow bored. Some respond by seeking new forms, others only deepen their art, making it last. Such a writer becomes a writer's writer. Such a painter becomes a painter's painter. See -- really see -- a Bonnard, or the work of any painter who can see the beautiful in what's called the ordinary. And who lets us see it. As in the work of an Andrew Wyeth or Edward Hopper, who were accused of being only sentimental or nostalgic as they grew only deeper.

To see the beautiful in the ordinary, the holy in the mundane, that is a gift. It takes concentration to bring it out -- continual conversion.

Think of Norman Rockwell, who was dismissed as "only" an illustrator -- a title he wore like an honorific. Other painters lose what they once had. A perfectly respectable representative painter like Mark Rothko progressively reduces himself to just lines, color, blocks ... linoleum art. And is much celebrated, his paintings coveted. Which is a better reflection of contemporary taste than of art. There is a difference between success and art, however much one may adulterate the other.

There's loneliness and there's being alone. Two quite different things. Those afflicted with loneliness may not understand why some of us savor being alone. They're quite different, loneliness and solitude. Loneliness agitates, solitude comforts.

How not love solitude? There are so many books to read and re-read, so much music to hear and hear again, and the sweetest music of all is silence.

The trouble with trying to keep house is that everything comes into a house and nothing ever leaves. Like thoughts. They attach themselves to the floor, the ceiling, the walls, the books, to every object in the house. Dizzying, whirling, multiplying thoughts great and small and in-between. They come in assorted shapes and sizes and colors and lack thereof, insights and dustballs mixing. That's when, noticing them cluttering everywhere, it's time to ... Stop.

And make pasta.

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.

Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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