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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 June 10, 2010 / 28 Sivan, 5770

Salvation through sports

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A fascinating test of the curative power of sports has been unfolding this week on both sides of the Atlantic, as Washington and Johannesburg look to athletes to lift the gloom surrounding their political leaders.

On Tuesday night, this capital took a grateful respite from the oil spill, the congressional primaries and the endless debates on Capitol Hill, and adjourned en masse to watch the Major League debut of Stephen Strasburg, the much-ballyhooed rookie pitcher for the Washington Nationals.

The 21-year-old right-hander, the first pick in last year's amateur draft, faced the Pittsburgh Pirates before a crowd of more than 40,000 people, twice the size of the pre-Strasburg average.

Much as Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 spurred hopes that a new era was opening, so long-suffering fans fantasized that with Strasburg pitching and this year's No. 1 choice, junior college slugger Bryce Harper on the way, the Nationals were destined for better things.

Strasburg more than fulfilled those hopes, striking out a team-record 14 batters and yielding only four hits and no walks in his seven innings, on the way to a 5-2 victory. From my seventh-row seat behind the plate, watching him deliver 100 mph fastballs and sharp-breaking curves over the corners, it was possible to believe the Nationals would win every time he takes the mound.

The anticipation that surrounded Strasburg was small compared to the emotion filling Johannesburg for Friday's opening game of the World Cup soccer tournament between Mexico and South Africa. The quadrennial event, which regularly draws the largest worldwide television audience, is being contested for the first time on the African continent.

Washington badly needed the lift promised by Strasburg's arrival. That morning's Washington Post reported that its latest voter survey had yielded the worst vote of confidence ever for congressional incumbents, with only 29 percent of respondents saying they were inclined to vote for their own representative.

But however sour the mood in this capital, our problems fade to insignificance compared to the difficulties in South Africa. Those who loved the upbeat ending of the movie "Invictus," celebrating the triumph of Nelson Mandela and the national rugby team, face a severe letdown if they turn to the 16-page special report on South Africa in the latest issue of The Economist.

The visiting journalists found five assorted spokesmen to bolster the semi-upbeat conclusion that "the fundamentals are there" for South Africa and "our future lies in our own hands."

But the previous pages detail an array of challenges that make the next period of South Africa's history as daunting as its past escape from apartheid and its 16 years of shaky democratic rule. Still saddled with a one-party government, under the African National Congress, and with deep racial divisions lingering from the days of minority white rule, the country is struggling to convert its mineral riches into the makings of a modern economy.

Unemployment is officially estimated at 25 percent, and current growth rates are inadequate to reduce it much. Despite an expanded welfare program, economic inequality is severe. Most whites are doing well, but only a few of the black majority have found their way into the middle class.

Four great barriers stand in the way of progress.

Corruption is pervasive, at both local and national levels, and the government is so awash in rumors that it appears powerless to combat it.

Crime is a daily threat to blacks and whites alike, and is fed by staggeringly high unemployment among youths. A Durban magistrate who sentenced three young men for killing a teacher by throwing her off a bridge, commented, "We are scared to the point where we are no longer free."

An official of the Development Bank of Southern Africa calls the education system "a national disaster," with test results ranking at the bottom of all countries on international scales. The appalling weakness continues to the university level, crippling the economy for lack of skills.

Finally, one in eight South Africans is infected with HIV and an estimated 350,000 a year are being added to the 3 million believed to have died from the disease.

It takes something more than courage to look past all that and celebrate the joys of international sports competition. But Washington, in its fashion, is trying to do much the same.

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