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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 17, 2008 / 14 Tamuz 5768

The problem of evil

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LITTLE ROCK — It proved an education not just for his students but for me when Adam Green, associate professor of history at the University of Chicago, brought his class to town for an on-site study of the Little Rock Crisis of 1957.


Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., was the focus of more than a political and constitutional crisis in 1957. It was also a test of conscience. How we see it now still is. And who better to serve as a guide to all the forces that collided here than the son of Ernest Green, one of the original Little Rock Nine who integrated the school?


The students began their colloquium early on a Friday morning here at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where they met to hear from five local reporters who had covered the Crisis first-hand.


As one of the students told me as the two-hour seminar was breaking up and the group was headed for Central High, now an official historic site, hearing from those on the scene in '57 was so different from reading about the crisis in the history books. For me, too, I assured her. There's always something new to learn about the old, especially from eyewitnesses.


Each person sees with different eyes, and brings a different set of sensibilities to events. And so does each generation. Which may be why history so often says more about the time in which it was written than the time it purports to describe.


It takes a rare sensibility to transport oneself into the past, and see it as those who lived it did. Giambattista Vico, the early 18th-century philosopher/historiographer, called that rare talent fantasia,or overwhelming, all-absorbing imagination. For it's not easy to avoid the presentness that reduces history to an exercise in current cultural or ideological fashion. Our own time can be a prison, shutting us out of the others.


The most revealing comment of the morning's discussion came from Ernie Dumas, who'd joined the old Arkansas Gazette as a political reporter shortly after 1957. He recalled a conversation with Orval Faubus after the old boy had been elected to his third term as governor in 1958, largely as a result of the popularity he'd reaped from his defiant stand against the federal government the year before.


It seems the triumphant Faubus had taken him aside — along with Roy Reed, a Gazette reporter who years later would write a detailed biography of Faubus — to explain what a really fine, progressive governor he'd been. He'd been the most liberal governor in the South, Orval Faubus told them. Despite the bad press that he and Arkansas were getting (and would continue to get) because of his defense of racial segregation.


To document his claim, this undisputed champion of Arkansas politics (at least till Bill Clinton came along) ran through the litany of social and economic programs he'd supported. Just as he would regularly do every two years and gubernatorial election thereafter. That's when Roy Reed asked him the question that History would then and forever ask: "But what about '57?"


Orval Faubus explained that he was no racist. No serious observer of Arkansas politics ever thought he was; he was much too intelligent for that. No, he was something worse: an opportunist who exploited the racism of others in order to retain political power. He'd done what he'd done, he explained that day, to keep worse types at bay.


Any politician tempted to exploit race will always find such an excuse. Call it the Willie Stark Theory in honor of the hero — well, the protagonist — of "All the King's Men." It can be summed up as: Better to do some evil than invite a greater one.


Or as Willie would put it, good itself is never pure but inseparable from evil, for evil is what good must be made out of. The great leader has to make compromises to further some greater good, like his own precious career. (See the indelible signature of J. William Fulbright on the infamous Southern Manifesto.)


But this rationalization fails the test not only of idealism but practical politics. For we'll never know what would have happened if Orval Faubus had decided to champion the law of the land, not to mention the brotherhood of man, instead of his own indispensability.


Who knows, he might have been able to rally the better angels of our nature and make Arkansas a shining light of racial amity — instead of making Little Rock a worldwide synonym for race hatred. It was a reputation the people of this state and city never deserved. Only now, half a century later, has that image finally faded. It would take a succession of real reformers in the Governor's Mansion, like Winthrop Rockefeller and Mike Huckabee, to remove the stain.


But what's a political leader, or any mortal, to do when faced with a choice between an abstract ideal and real, practical gain? The choice is always so complicated, or appears to be.


Which is the path of wisdom between conflicting counsels? The answer is the same as it has been since Job's time: "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding."

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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