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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, 2009 / 25 Tamuz 5769

Scraps, or: The Judge, the Countess and My Mother

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They accumulate, the scraps of material there wasn't room for a column, but are too good to throw away. So, like a good seamstress, the prudent columnist puts them away for another time, confident they'll fit in somewhere someday. Or maybe make a patchwork quilt of a column when they're all sewn together.


My mother used to have a big box of such scraps. She never threw anything away. Now and then when I was a boy I'd find one of them incorporated in one of my shirts or a pair of pants. Neat. The economy of it gave me a certain satisfaction even then. I've since learned to do the same thing with written material. The secret of this business is recycling.


For example, I've held on to this gem of wisdom from my granddaughter up in Boston — Newton Centre, Mass., actually — for whole days before sharing it. That must be something of a record for a proud grandpa. Here is the entire text of now five-year-old Miss Carolyn Sara Bernstein's sisterly advice to her older brother at bedtime: "It's time to brush teeth, but be careful: Don't use your mind. It will only distract you."


That piece of Zen deserves a place with the response a safety expert got when he was interviewing workers on an assembly line. He was searching for ways to cut the accident rate at the plant, but all he got from a retarded woman who worked there was: "Don't worry 'bout me. It's only them's that thinks that gets hurt."


The obituary of Her Honor Andree Layton Roaf began with the usual list of black-woman firsts in Arkansas: first to sit on this state's Supreme Court, then on its Court of Appeals. But one first Judge Roaf achieved was missing from the obit. And it still brings a smile to my face. She was the first black bride to have her engagement picture in the Society section of the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Commercial.


It was a mistake, of course, in those still racially segregated days of the early '60s. When an engagement picture arrived of a slightly freckled young woman, it was sent to the Society page rather than Colored News, or whatever we called it at the time. Its appearance on the Society page was much noted in town; this time the Commercial had succeeded in scandalizing both the black and white communities.


The next day, bright and early on a Monday morning, the switchboard operator — was it Myrtis Bobo or Norma Jean Hutcheson? — said there was a man up front who wanted to see somebody about that picture. And the Society editor was prudently unavailable. That left me, the new editorial writer in town.


Coming out of my cubby, I met a khaki-clad caller at the front counter. A brief conversation ensued.


"Did y'all run an engagement picture of a colored girl on the same page as the white ones yesterday?"


"Yes, sir."


At that the man reached down, took out a large envelope, and placed it on the counter. "This is my daughter's engagement picture," he said. "If you want to run it next to a colored girl's, that'll be fine with us."


Then he nodded goodbye and was gone. My faith in people, in the South, in just plain ordinary decency was restored. No, justice hadn't exactly rolled down like mighty waters, but in those days even a trickle felt like a flood. The man in khaki hadn't made a big deal of it, either, which was another reason it was a splendid moment. I guess that's something else I have Justice Roaf to thank for.


Sometimes the providential works in accidental ways.


The other day I was reading about the life and adventuresome times of the Comtesse de la Tour du Pin, a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette. And of all people, I immediately thought of my immigrant mother. She came from a tiny Polish village way back of beyond, a shtetl called Mordt. From outside Mordt, actually. A place so obscure nobody else ever seems to have heard of it. What could she possibly have had in common with an 18th-century French aristocrat at the court of Louis XVI?


I'll tell you. I made the connection on reading the countess' description of her escape from the mob during The Terror. She was hiding out in Bordeaux when, under the pretense of taking a stroll in the public gardens, she managed to slip away and board a dinghy to the ship that was waiting to take her across the ocean to America and safety. "There is no doubt," she would later recall, "that the heave of the oar with which the sailor pushed us off from shore was the happiest moment of my life."


That's when I thought of my mother. Sarah Ackerman Greenberg always blessed the day — February 10, 1921 — when she landed at the Port of Boston and first set foot on American soil. It seems a kinsman who had taken off for America after his house had burned down, the last of a series of reversals, had done well enough here to send my mother passage money. And so she was able to escape the poverty, war and general chaos she'd known growing up in the old country. Not to mention the horror to come in Europe.


Sometimes the providential works in accidental ways.

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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. Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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