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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 Sept 11, 2006 / 18 Elul, 5766

What 9/11 Didn't Change

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Before the dust from the collapsed towers had settled, conventional wisdom had congealed: "Everything has changed." But what about what matters most, the public's sensibility?

It has taken five years for Sept. 11, 2001, to receive a novelist's subtle and satisfying treatment, but it was worth the wait for Claire Messud's "The Emperor's Children." Her intimation of the mark the attacks made on the American mind is convincing because in her comedy of manners, as in the nation's life, that horrific event is, oddly, both pivotal and tangential.

Messud's Manhattan story revolves around two women and a gay man who met as classmates at Brown University and who, as they turn 30 in 2001, vaguely yearn to do something "important" and "serious." Vagueness — lack of definition — is their defining characteristic. Which may be because — or perhaps why — all three are in the media. All are earnest auditors and aspiring improvers of the nation's sensibility.

Marina is a glamorous child of privilege because she is the child of Murray, a famous liberal commentator given to saying things such as, to a seminar on "Resistance in Postwar America," "once upon a time, poetry did matter." A former intern at Vogue, Marina lives with her parents, on an allowance from them, on Central Park West. She is having trouble finishing her book on "how complex and profound cultural truths — our mores entire — could be derived from" analysis of changing fashions in children's clothes. "I want to make a difference." But get a job? "I worry that will make me ordinary, like everybody else." She is, her father recognizes, "stymied, now, by the very lack of smallness" in her life, "by the absence of any limitations against which to rebel."

Danielle, from Ohio, is a producer of documentaries who hopes to "articulate" an "ethos" into a "movement." Her current project, to raise "questions about integrity and authenticity," concerns women who had bad experiences with liposuction.

Julius, from Michigan, is an independent book and film reviewer "with a youthful certainty that attitude would carry him." His "life of Wildean excess and insouciance seemed an accomplishment in itself." He is "an inchoate ball of ambition," and is intermittently aware that at 30 "some actual sustained endeavor might be in order." That might, however, be difficult, given his belief that "regularity was bourgeois."


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The problem the three share is not that their achievements, if there ever are any, will be ephemeral, but that their intentions to achieve them are ephemeral. Not solid, like those of the Australian who comes to New York "to foment revolution." With a new magazine.

Murray's nephew, Bootie, a morose autodidact — imagine Holden Caulfield with his nose in a book of Emerson's essays — rounds out Messud's central cast, each illustrating Messud's acute understanding of the Peter Pan complex now rampant among young adults who feel entitled to be extraordinary: "To be your own person, to find your own style — these were the quests of adolescence and young adulthood, pushed, in a youth-obsessed culture, well into middle age."

Not until Page 370 of Messud's delicious depiction of the quintet's tangled lives, "torn between Big Ideas and a party," do the planes hit the towers. Bootie — it could have been any of these people preoccupied with manufacturing interpretations of fashions and fashions of interpretations — has "a fearful thought: you could make something inside your head, as huge and devastating as this, and spill it out into reality, make it really happen." Imagine that.

Before Sept. 11, Messud began writing a Manhattan novel about young adults living in the media hall of mirrors. After Sept. 11, she abandoned it. Then returned to it. Asked if she thought she had written a "9/11 novel," she demurs: "I wrote an August 1914 novel." Meaning, "The world I had set out to describe in 2001 had become historical."

But what had changed? The party, scheduled for Sept. 11, to launch the Australian's magazine and the revolution — Renee Zellweger had accepted; Susan Sontag was a maybe — was canceled, as was the magazine. Murray "formulated a reasoned middle ground'': America did not deserve the attacks, but remember the West Bank. "He wasn't opposed to the invasion of Afghanistan, but qualified about its methods." Danielle decides to proceed with her liposuction documentary.

Nothing changes everything. And even huge events that, as Messud says, make "certain things seem particularly frivolous," leave most of our enveloping normality largely unscathed. That truth and a heightened sense of the frivolous are conducive to national poise five years into a long war.

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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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