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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 August 5, 2011 / 5 Menachem-Av, 5771

Forgotten Places

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How appropriate. The exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock is called Forgotten Places, and it's been mounted not in one of the main galleries but in a forgettable part of the museum. The exhibit consists largely of black-and-white photographs of old, abandoned houses out in the country. The kind of photographs developed in a darkroom, the almost forgotten way.

The pictures are scattered along an upstairs hallway, in nooks, on a landing at the top of stairs, out of the way, or maybe on the way to somewhere else. Perhaps to one of the spacious, brightly lit displays for children. You might pass the pictures right by, just as you would a dilapidated old house by the side of a country road.

Back in the woods, ivy covering a door, the roof caving in, walls buckling, the old house would be just this side of a memory. And you would drive right on past the past, focused on the empty present.

The pictures' location in the museum isn't a slight, it's the perfect setting. You ask directions at the front desk to get there. The way the photographer might have had to ask for directions when she set out to take the pictures. Once taken and revealed, the images are no longer the artist's alone. Each belongs to the passing viewer now, if only for a moment, as he falls under the peculiar spell only an abandoned past may cast.

One of the artists whose work is on display, Diana Michelle Hausam, speaks of "the beauty of neglect," of "found decay," and sums up the message of the exhibit in words that ring true: "the transience of life."

What was is no more. And, yet, thanks to her, it is. These images speak to us now in a way they never could when they weren't images but mundane reality, which is never mundane looking back.

There are no people in these pictures, yet they are everywhere. Looking at the photographs, we sense their lives, and feel wonder. These places are not forgotten. They remain at the core of what it means to be from Arkansas, or maybe any rural state with a storied past. She captured our soul in a lens. Seeing the exhibit is worth even getting out into the Arkansas heat this time to year.

"I believe the most important element of my work," the artist says on one of the wall placards, "is fear, fear of what I may find and fear for my life on these ventures of mine."

How strange. At least one viewer feels no fear reflected here, only peace. An awareness of the transience of life can do that. Nothing can be changed now. The past is done. No more need to struggle with it. Only to look back and be struck by the preciousness of it.

Black-and-white is the right medium for this look into the past, the rock from which we were carved. The couple of striking color photographs in the exhibit seem more decorative than instructive; they would make pretty greeting cards.

One of the gray pictures shows a few shoes, children's shoes, that have been left behind in a long-abandoned house. Why? Forgotten? Discarded? We'll never know. The children who wore them passed from this scene long ago. Whatever became of them is beyond our ken.

Fear would be the last emotion the sight of these shoes inspires, at least in this son of a shoemaker from the old country. I grew up with the smell of leather in my father's shop downstairs. Packets of strong new, flexible leather soles were stacked here and there, waiting to be stitched onto the workshoes of black sharecroppers come to town to do their shopping of a Saturday. Leather still smells like home to me. Comforting. Standing there, looking at the picture, I swear I can smell leather again. And I feel only gratitude.

Why? Then I realize I once saw another pair of shoes in a museum. Battered, dusty, crumpled little shoes displayed against the blank white walls. Memory is imperfect, so when I get back to the newspaper I go searching for the tiny shoes on the Internet. They belonged to a two-year-old named Doris Mathes. As I recall, someone -- her father? -- had written her name and birthdate on the soles, as if he knew just how valuable, even life-saving, a pair of shoes might be on a forced march, or even after the family had reached a concentration camp.

The little shoes did not avail. Doris Mathes, born June 14, 1942, would be gassed January 17, 1944, at Auschwitz.

I look at this black-and white photograph of children's shoes left behind somewhere in rural Arkansas, with its play of sun and shadow, and it seems filled with light. I feel only gratitude. And a surge of wild hope. America!

Paul Greenberg Archives

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