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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 July 19, 2011 / 17 Tamuz, 5771

Letters Dept.

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Professor,

It was wholly a pleasure to get your email seconding the motion that we permit the study of the Bible in the public schools. It gives me an opportunity to write a few words in defense of what used to be called First Things.

But we will always have with us those who argue that teaching the Word, right out in public and all, as in public schools, would violate the separation of church and state. I'm rather attached to that wall myself. As a Jewish kid, I grew up under its protection.

But those who say separating church from state means ignoring anything to do with religion in the public schools have forgotten there's a difference between teaching and preaching. Leave it you, a teacher, to know the difference. And to explain it so well:

"If in the schools I teach Homer or Aeschylus, whose works feature references to ancient Greek gods and whose works are based on ancient Greek religious sensibilities, am I teaching the children to be pagans? If I teach the Vedic scriptures to our children as part of their education in Indian civilization, shall I similarly be accused of trying to turn them into Hindus?

"The Greeks used the term 'barbarians' to refer to other peoples who did not understand the Greek language and, by extension, did not understand or value the unique aspects of Greek civilization. In the context of Western civilization, I believe the appellation of barbarian would apply well to all those in our society who would deny instruction in the Bible to our children."

The Bible is still a powerful book, even in this biblically illiterate age. It must be to arouse such intense opposition to its study, lest the young fall under its spell. That's not education; it's fear.

Yours for words and the Word,

Dear English Teacher,

It was wholly a pleasure to get your note agreeing with a column of mine about writing -- as opposed to Creative Writing. And opposed they are, to judge by all the attempts I've seen to reduce writing to a fill-in-the-blank, color-by-the-numbers, follow-the-steps, capital-P Process.

There are few things an inky wretch finds more assuring than agreement from someone who actually knows what she's talking about. And you clearly do, having been there. To quote from your note:

"I was a teacher for many years and was at constant odds with my principal over teaching 'creative' writing. Strange course. No one can teach a child to be creative. I taught one summer in a special program for promising kids, and every kid there agreed with me. I loved what they wrote -- I didn't instruct, just appreciated."

There is an art and discipline to appreciation, too, as the best critics demonstrate. There can be more talent in a work of criticism than in the work of art being appreciated/dissected. See the literary criticism of T.S. Eliot, which I'd submit far surpasses his poetry, however memorable many of his lines. Not to say ineradicable. Like some awful jingle that keeps going 'round and 'round in your head, where the women come and go talking of Michelangelo. You couldn't erase those signature phrases of his even if you tried. And I've tried. They stick in the little gray cells like old glue.

The last line of your note was particularly assuring: "I hated workshops, too." They say common tastes unite people, but surely there's no stronger bond than a common distaste. A distaste for the way writing is now taught, for example.

Will Fitzhugh, founder and editor of the Concord Review, has just survived his term on the committee of the NAEP that assesses student writing. NAEP is not the name of a correctional facility but stands for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which administers standardized tests and reports their often disappointing results.

To quote Editor Fitzhugh, "the writing sought is almost inconceivably superficial, formulaic, sentimental, solipsistic and bland. It is hard for anyone concerned about writing to understand how these and other groups concerned about 'Adolescent Literacy' keep their standards so very low...." It's a challenge but our educantists are up to it, or rather down to it.

It's my theory that no one civilized can pronounce the words Creative Writing Workshop without wincing.

Be well and stay strong,

Dear Libertarian,

It was wholly a pleasure to receive your critique of my column titled "Critique of Pure Reason" in homage to Herr Kant.

From you I learn that my hero and guide Edmund Burke -- well, one of my many heroes and guides -- was really a libertarian, and a humanist, too, rather than the conservative and believer so many of us innocents have taken him for.

Oh, yes, and that Ayn Rand was one of the great writers, artists and intellectual lights of our time.

All that was news to me. (It still is.) But where would one begin to straighten out such misapprehensions, and why bother? Some claims refute themselves just by being made.

As for Ms. Rand's books being literary masterpieces, it would be more accurate to call them ideological manifestoes, as brittle as the Marxism they were reacting against. No wonder her books are still all the rage among adolescents of all ages. The best and shortest description of her novels I've ever run across is "comic books without the pictures."

Yep, Burke was a libertarian, Ayn Rand was our own Tolstoy, and the sun rises in the west. Are those claims or just symptoms?

Whenever confronted by such interesting propositions, I think of the old copy editor who told the cub reporter: "Son, you done misspelled Cincinnati so bad, there ain't no way to correct it."

A fellow can learn an awful lot by writing a newspaper column and waiting for the responses to roll in. And I mean an awful lot.

Wishing you a full and speedy recovery, though not holding out much hope,

Inky Wretch

Paul Greenberg Archives

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