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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 July 1, 2010 / 19 Tamuz 5770

Screwtape Heard From

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With apologies to C. S. Lewis

My dear Wormwood,

The word from above -- we have our spies there, you know -- is that you seem quite proud of yourself these days. Sorry to disappoint you, nephew, if you were expecting congratulations from me on your latest feat. Do remember, as Our Father Below has said many times, do not go too far. You junior fiends often overlook the great advantages of having our patients never recognize us or our working through them.

Moderation in all things evil, that's the ticket. The effect is so much more lasting if the victim is enticed just one small step at a time, so he scarcely notices any change in himself or his world.

You'll remember that I was quite proud of your arranging the murder of that Salvation Army major in Arkansas during the winter solstice holiday that celebrates the Enemy. I even put in some promotion paperwork for you. But I've put a hold on that for now. You must learn control. You must mature. Lest you give away our plans.

As for this Lillian Wilson, I am well aware that she was one of those heavenly types who always eluded us. It's said she was known for her, please excuse my language, kindness and generosity in devil-forsaken Cross County, Arkansas. She was killed while alone at a church. Good job. Or it would have been if you'd just ended the story there. But, no, you young devils always have to go too far, don't you?

Dispatches from above say the 80-year-old woman was beaten to death with a 20-pound cross from the Central United Methodist Church's communion table. While she was busy filling disaster relief buckets. Wormwood, have you no subtlety?

What troubles me is how reckless you've become. I meant to say something back in December, when you arranged to have that Salvation Army major struck down at the holiday season. Good work, but to have it done in front of his small children, as you did, only alerts the marks to our existence.

I blame myself for not cautioning you about all this excessive symbolism earlier. Of course, I won't take responsibility for your actions now. Not with the authorities here below. After all, it was your decision to make in the case of Lillian Wilson. And you can be sure I'll tell them so. For there'll be heaven to pay when they hear about it. It's one thing, nephew, to approach the line, quite another to step on it and then grind it into the ground.

Remember, we want our customers not only to disbelieve, but to not think of us at all. That way, they are easier to manipulate. Always keep in mind that there can be just too much of a bad thing. This sort of devilish triumph always alerts them to our existence when what we want to do is stay sub rosa, below the surface, unnoticed, never thought about. Dismissed as just a myth, an old wives' tale, a fairy story. Nothing that sophisticated people can take seriously in, as they are wont to say, This Day and Age, as if good and evil were now somehow different from an earlier time.

Remember, humans are not like us spirits. They can disbelieve. Having never been a human (oh, what an advantage the Enemy has over us!) you might not understand. But humans are very good at turning a blind eye to the obvious. That is, until they see an elderly woman beaten to death in a church with a cross while she prepares disaster relief kits. That's when it may occur to even the dimmest of them that there may actually be such a thing as evil. And we start to lose our greatest advantage -- our cover, our camouflage, our not having anyone believe we really exist.

Control, Wormwood, you must learn control. We do not want our patients to think about things they cannot touch and see. Your recklessness, your fatal tendency toward self-dramatization, has made it much harder for our other agents. Which is why I've put your promotion on hold.

Have you forgotten? The basic strategic doctrine set down by the Low Command here is always to conceal ourselves. (For now, that is.) If our patients could see us, touch us, they would turn toward the Enemy in droves. Somehow, when we make our Presence known, we frighten them. Always work from the shadows.

Remember, if the humans don't believe in evil, they might not believe in good, either. Which is to say, if they don't believe in us, they might not believe in the Enemy. In our business, a tie is as good as a win.

The object of the contest is to keep our patients lukewarm, complacent, unnoticing. Above all, uninterested in questions of good and evil. They may find that impossible to do when, not to belabor the point, an elderly woman is beaten to death in a church with a cross while she prepares disaster relief kits.

If this letter sounds disappointed, Wormwood, then I am happy you don't misunderstand. Disappointed is an understatement. You've disgraced and endangered all of us down here below.

I wish I knew what they were teaching at the Training College. I knew it would come to no good once old Slubgob was appointed head. Do they still teach Cunning 101 there, or did you take an elective that semester? Maybe something like Melodrama for Beginners?

Dullness wins us souls, Wormwood, dullness! I can't emphasize that point enough. Use the time-tested explanation that this was an everyday robbery gone bad. That's the way to have them think of it, not as the Devil's work. Oh, it might make the back pages of the newspaper, but not everybody would be talking about it -- in their kitchens, in their grocery stores, in their churches. Yes, in their churches. For you've just made it easier for the minions of the Enemy to talk about us in every saving pulpit. Oh, if only they'd stick to their book reviews and politics and self-improvement lectures. But now, Wormwood, you'll have them talking about the knowledge of good and evil. This has put us back centuries.

One of our most important rules is this: Keep our patients' minds on something else. What something else? Anything something else. Finances. Sports. Work. Politics. Bread and circuses. Anything but us and our existence.

I must now end this letter, Wormwood, for I've just received a memo from The Master. He wants an explanation of your little adventure. I really don't know how I'm going to explain this one. Perhaps I'll try to write it off as inexperience. But you can count on this: I'll not take the blame for your amateurish antics. Be prepared: You might receive an invitation to meet with Our Father Below soon enough. The consequences could be severe; you might even have your damnation revoked. If I were you, I'd start planning my excuses. You can guarantee I have.

Your disappointed uncle,

Screwtape

Paul Greenberg Archives

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