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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 June 18, 2012/ 28 Sivan, 5772

Night visitor

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (With apologies to Ray Bradbury)

"What?" The old man exclaimed. He had gone to the hall closet to get something -- a raincoat? His cane? It couldn't have been his scarf or overcoat. Not in this weather. Whatever it was, he forgot it as soon as he opened the door and saw it. A pale figure. Way in back with the old clothes. So hazy it could scarcely be discerned, but there it was.

"Don't be alarmed," the apparition said softly. "I mean you no harm. Indeed, I may do you great good someday. It all depends how you look at it. It makes no difference to me. I only make my rounds as directed."

"What?" asked the old man again, now just curious.

"It's nothing personal, it's not as if I had any choice in the matter," his visitor was saying. "I just do what I'm told. I have my appointed rounds to make. Free will is your department, not mine. I assure you, sir, you have nothing to worry about. Anyway, I'll be gone in a minute. Just stopping in, by your leave. Or without it, for that matter. Call it a familiarization tour. You may see me more frequently in the future. Indeed, I'm sure you will."

The figure had scarcely moved. But the old man was sure it had spoken. He had heard it. He rubbed his eyes. But it was still there when he opened them. Too much dandelion wine last night, he thought. He really ought to lay off the stuff.

He had been imagining things lately. But probably no more than usual. He'd always been a bit of a daydreamer. More than a bit, truth to tell. But the tendency had increased in late years. He found himself withdrawing more and more. As if, like his unexpected visitor, he was only here only to familiarize himself with ... what? He wasn't sure.

He never was much of one to travel, though travel he had. Why? he wondered. Everything he needed and wanted was right here. Home beckoned him more and more. Its attractions grew as numerous as the books on his crowded shelves. Each seemed to whisper, "Read me! Read me!" Especially those he had read before. If a book is worth reading once, surely it is worth reading again, if only to see if it still exerts the same charm. Or maybe says something he'd missed the first time. At least if it's a good book. A good book is inexhaustible. Ordinary books may be all alike; every great book is great in its own way.

"But it's not just the books you're attached to, is it?" said the spectral figure, as if it could read his mind. "The pleasures of home grow not just numerous but numinous with time."

"Yes," he thought. The sweetness of solitude. Just to sit and listen to the night sounds, to the rustle of wind in the trees, to the antiphonal music of the spheres in the night skies. The small, ambient noises. The house settling. And the sound of rain outside. He could listen to it forever. Or old phonograph records, scratches and all. He knew just where each was, would miss them if they were gone, like a missed beat. Contrary to the common misconception, familiarity doesn't breed contempt but affection....

Lost in thought, he had forgotten his unexpected guest. "If you will excuse me," the ever fainter figure was saying, "I really must be going. I hate to startle and run, but I do have my rounds to make. I'm already late for an appointment in Samarra. People are expecting me, whether they realize it or not."

"Just what line are you in, if I may ask?" the old man inquired. "Sales?"

"Not exactly. More like collections."

For just a moment the old man thought he saw the hint of a smile on the stranger's face. "Never missed a soul," the spectral figure said with a touch of pride. "That's one thing about my calling, everyone's equal in my presence. They may ignore me, but I never snub anybody. Very democratic in that way. I come to all. As inevitable as taxes, as they say.

"Oh, I know it's a bit of a shock when I first move in," the visitor added, almost apologetically. "But I don't take up much space, not at first. I'm barely noticeable. You may think it's only your imagination. Or that I'll go away if you just ignore me. But bit by bit, I require more room, till I take up the whole house, then your whole life. But you'll be happy to see me when you need me. Then you'll understand."

"Oh," said the old man. "I see."

"I doubt it," said his visitor. "But you will, you will."

"Goodbye then," said the old man, not displeased to be left alone.

"No," said the now only faint presence, correcting him. "See you later."

Yes, of course, the old man realized. Now he understood. "See you later," he murmured, sure he would.

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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