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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 Nov. 22, 2013/ 19 Kislev, 5774

The colliding myths of November

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The myths collide, bearing friction between the legends the nation lives by: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, John F. Kennedy at Dallas and Barack Obama somewhere, maybe on a golf course, dreaming of Obamacare one last time before it implodes. Like all myths, they don't bear close examination. They must be taken on faith.

Lincoln's address at Gettysburg, magnificent as the rhetoric that would inspire generations of Americans, was commemorated on the battlefield where he delivered it 150 years ago, and scholars continue to argue the arcane particulars of how the famous speech came about.

The myth of John F. Kennedy's Camelot died with him at Dallas only 50 years ago, and the enduring argument is not about his legacy but over the particulars of who killed him. Most of the men who devoted their working days to polishing the myth and keeping it bright and shining, are dead and gone now. The few polishers left among us seem reconciled to the tarnish around the edges of the myth. Constant scrubbing merely reveals the tarnish beneath the tarnish.

Barack Obama himself has the task of tending the myth of the Chicago messiah, and it's the myth whose days are clearly numbered. Mr. Obama declined an invitation to make remarks at the Gettysburg commemoration, perhaps because he didn't want to share the occasion with another president, particularly a dead one who stirs "the mystic chords of memory" in the way that he suspects he never can and will. Lincoln reduced his remarks at Gettysburg to 272 words, each one of them cut like a hard blue diamond and set in place with a jeweler's eye. Mr. Obama, celebrated as a great orator by those who cannot fully appreciate an orator's poetry because they've never heard the real thing, cannot clear his throat in 272 words. He knew he might suffer a comparison, so his contribution to the occasion was a video recitation of the speech in which he eliminated Lincoln's invocation of G0D lest it make atheists break out in a 10-day itch.

Lincoln's speech is remembered for the sheer poetry of the words, each one fraught with meaning that comes down untarnished through the years. The place where it was delivered speaks volumes about the times and the people to whom it was addressed. He delivered it without a teleprompter, without amplification and without even a good night's sleep after a grueling 110-mile six-hour ride from Washington on three different trains.



The next morning the battlefield reeked still of the rotting flesh of men and horses, five months after Robert E. Lee led his bruised Army of Northern Virginia back across the Potomac to safety. The occasional bluebottle fly still searched the battlefield for what was left of a horse and the occasional poorly buried soldier, with scraps of blue and gray uniform fluttering with poignant testimony to the soil soaked by persistent November rains. Gen. George Gordon Meade, the commander of the Union army, not only had not followed the Confederates after three days of fighting but hurried out of Pennsylvania terrified that it was Lee who was giving chase. "I cannot delay to pick up the debris of the battlefield," Meade telegraphed Washington. Some debris. The wicked flee when none pursueth.

The poetry of the Gettysburg Address would be admired later. It was enough on the day that the crowd of 15,000 could see and listen to the man. The myth of Abe the ardent abolitionist, of Lincoln the champion of civil rights for blacks, of the Great Emancipator who freed all the slaves in one fell swoop, would be burnished later. Lincoln without the tears and the poetry was a clever politician first, the Lyndon Johnson of his day. He did what he could. He preserved the union, no small feat, though with a little patience he might have done it without a war.

John F. Kennedy was a man of poetry, too, though it was poetry mostly written by others. He spoke the words well. "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," was the stuff of legend. He left a political party that considers such instruction mere bunk. His Democratic successors are only interested in a welfare state that will be fun while it lasts. The prudent among us are learning Chinese.

Lincoln's work was mostly done when John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal shot. Kennedy left with work still to do, including Vietnam, work that would have rendered Camelot a silly woman's fantasy. Death made both Lincoln and Kennedy larger in death. Obama still needs work on his putting if he ever breaks par. Myths are what politics is made of.

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 Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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