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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 May 5, 2011 / 1 Iyar, 5771

And Now the Deluge

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How high's the water, Mama?

Two feet high and risin'

How high's the water, Papa?

She said, "Two feet high and risin' "

It took someone with country in his bones, Arkansas-born-and-bred Johnny Cash, to tell the story in song, but it's an old saga in these drenched parts, dating back at least to the Noahide flood of 1927. That was the big one, and it inspired not just songs but a literary flood, too. Books, memoirs, historical studies ... they've washed up everywhere over the years. Not to mention those now faded photographs of hordes of folks camping out on the bridges and levees, or anywhere halfway dry. Images of the great deluge embedded themselves long ago in the South's collective memory.

They're already saying this year's deluge, as all that water comes pouring down the Mississippi and its already filling tributaries, could be comparable to legendary '27. That is not good news. Levees are already being blasted to save towns like luckless Cairo, Ill. With more heroic, or maybe just desperate, moves to come.

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat

'Cause that's the only thing we got that'll float

It's already over all the wheat and the oats

Two feet high and risin' . . .

The 1927 flood inspired not just song and story but a network of relief programs and flood-control projects of various effectiveness and sanity. The floods came and went, but this truth should have stayed with us in these drenched latitudes:

If there's one law Mother Nature never repeals, it's that water will go where it wants to go, underground or over land. It will stay in a river's banks or overflow them, sink into the swamps or come bearing down like a tidal wave. And when it does, watch out!

It's an old story that comes with an old lesson: The safest course when told to go is to go. Fast. Yet some will not learn it.

Well, the hives are gone, I've lost my bees

The chickens are sleepin' in the willow trees

Cow's in water up past her knees

Three feet high and risin' . . ."

This much you'd think we would have learned by now: When it's time to head for the high ground, it's time to head for the high ground. Get out while there's still time. But some of us are slow to learn. Especially when what was dry land a moment ago turns soggy, then into a lake. In record time. It's hard to believe, so there are always a few of us who won't.

Hey, come look through the window pane

The bus is comin', gonna take us to the train

Looks like we'll be blessed with a little more rain

Four feet high and risin' . . .

This flood season, the floodwaters struck little Pocahontas, Ark., on the banks of the Black River. As they've roared through many a town before in this water-rich, and sporadically waterlogged state. It'll creep up on you, the danger, like a rising tide and then a rushing flood.

To quote the town's beleaguered mayor, Frank Bigger, "I think it caught us off guard." As floods will.

"Five miles south of town," the mayor noted, "water's two to three feet over the road. It came up so sudden.''

It's hard to believe, it happens so fast. It's also hard to leave familiar territory, even as it turns into a lake. Why rush off and leave everything behind? It's easier to distrust the evidence of your eyes, and tell yourself you can wait this thing out. Even as the levees are turning into a sieve, springing leaks all along the line.

"You couldn't count the number of breaks," said Mayor Bigger after a helicopter tour with the governor, Mike Beebe, who already has officially declared 57 counties out of the state's 75 disaster areas. At last count.

Yet some folks will stay put not just till the last minute but beyond the last minute, hoping against hope. Pocahontas' police had ordered the residents of one subdivision to evacuate, but some weren't about to. Not then. "I'll know when it's time to leave," said one. "It's time to leave when my toes get wet."

A lot more than his toes were about to get wet when the levee broke soon afterward and sent eight feet of water gushing through his neighborhood. That convinced him. There's nothing like two, three, four feet of water and risin' moving down your street to restore that old instinct for self-preservation, otherwise known as good sense.

When sheriff's deputies boated in to rescue the holdouts, the reluctant refugee climbed aboard. It could have been Noah's Ark arriving in the nick of time. To quote another resident of the town, who lives along the southern reaches of the Black River, "My bed was about to get wet. I knew it was time to leave."

When your bed starts to turn into a boat, the message is undeniable: Go. And he went, wise man.

Well, the rails are washed out north of town

We gotta head for higher ground

We can't come back till the water goes down

Five feet high and risin'

Well, it's five feet high and risin' . . .

The moral of this all too familiar story: When told to head out because the old homestead is about to become a place not just on a lake but in it, Go!

You can always come back. If you leave while you still can.

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.

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