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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 Dec. 18, 2003 / 23 Kislev, 5764

Saddam, the Divine's messenger

By Joseph Aaron


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No, you did not misread the above


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | G-d works in mysterious ways.

Sometimes not so mysterious.

Many of us ask G-d to send us a sign so we know what to do. Most of us fail to notice when He does.

G-d, it seems to me, has been sending us some pretty clear signs lately. Not been at all His often mysterious self.

When I first heard the news about Saddam's capture, I was, at first, amazed that he had been taken alive. Then I was ecstatic that he had been taken. Then I began to feel a sense of awe. And of godliness, a word that doesn't usually come to mind when discussing Saddam Hussein.

But an overwhelming sense of G-d's presence is what I felt most of all. After all, here was a man who, just a short time ago, was one of the most powerful in the world, a man who ruled his ancient country with an iron first, whose word was everyone's command, who, with the nod of his head, could end the life of any Iraqi, high or low.

Here was a man the entire world feared, including the President of the United States, the most powerful country on earth. Including Israel, G- d's hometown.

And now, here was that very same man, filthy and unkempt, hiding in a hole in the ground, all alone, pathetic and powerless.

Sometimes, G-d ain't so mysterious. Sometimes, His signs are too clear to ignore.

Since the time G-d created man, even more since G-d gave Jews the Torah (Bible), He has been very clear about what He expects of us, how we are to behave, the rules we are to follow, what living a G-dly life is all about. Made very clear who is running the show, made very clear our role in His world.

Almost all of us know all of that, say we live according to that. Consider ourselves faithful believers, say we understand our role and His.

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We say that, but we don't mean it or, at least, don't put it into practice. Most of us most of the time are much more about doing our will, not His, are about justifying our actions rather than measuring them against His standards.

In our heart of hearts, we believe we are in control of things, not Him, that if we do such and so, plan this and that, things will turn out as we command. We may say we believe G-d runs the world, but we don't act like it.

And that's especially so if we have money or power. Then we really believe all is in our hands, that we are insulated from any and all, that our destiny is set and nothing and nobody can alter the way we wish things to be.

And that's the case even for those of us without power and money but who live in our technological times, where all our gadgets have given us an inflated sense of control, where we push buttons and can send messages to anyone, do almost anything, be in touch with anywhere, where we can get information, move things, orchestrate all aspects of our lives, exert our will over so much.

We live in an age so filled with temptations to believe we are in control, that all is in our hands, that life can be shaped as we wish it.

Which is why G-d so needs to remind us of what has always been true and remains true even in an age of cell phones and the internet. Namely, that each of us is to remember to live our lives in accord with His will, His Torah. And that nothing is certain except that nothing is certain, that G- d runs the world according to His plan and calculations, not ours.

That's true no matter who we are, how wealthy or powerful we are. It goes for all of us, for each of us.

Even for Saddam Hussein.

Think of it. A man who, less than a year ago, had dozens of luxurious palaces, thousands of servants, millions of followers, now sits alone in his underwear in a small cell, powerless to control anything, even the smallest thing.

It is said that during his reign, every single day, in every single one of his dozens of palaces, three sumptuous meals would be prepared since no one knew which palace he might drop in on when. Now, he waits to see when and what food will be brought in to him on a tray carried by a U.S. soldier.

There is a powerful lesson in all this for all of us, a powerful reminder that we would be wise to heed by seeing its message in Saddam, and not have to be hit over the head by it coming closer to home.

That message would be clear at anytime, but is especially so since this is taking place so close to Chanukah.

I have said many times that I am a big believer that things happen at certain times for a reason, and I don't think it's all that hard to see the significance of Saddam's capture taking place in the season of Chanukah.

Chanukah is a time when the lights shine, when we kindle candles to combat the darkness. Especially since Sept. 11, we live in a world filled with darkness and dark forces. Chanukah reminds us that we must not turn away or be afraid or try to ignore that, but that we must each do our share to bring more light into the world. However we choose, in whatever ways we choose, whether it's volunteering to help others or making a contribution or treating our neighbors more nicely or acting more kindly to our spouse and our kids. Each thing we do to act in a more G-dly way brings a bit more light into the world, banishes a bit of the darkness.

Chanukah is also about the power of belief, the power of good. It reminds us that even the strongest of armies can't stand up to the forces of good. It reminds us that if we believe, miracles can happen.

Saddam's capture reminds us of what would be if good men and women do nothing, of all those who see themselves as above G-d, who plot to create a world in their image.

Saddam reminds us of what could be if good men and women do something, remember that it is G-d who is in control, that He has given us a blueprint of how we are to live, how we are to be. And shown us what our world should be and will be if each of us does his/her part, lights his/her candle.

Saddam's life has been filled with that which is horrific and destructive and dark. Let us use his capture as a reminder that, despite our differences, each of us must do our part to bring light into the world and that all of us are here as part of G-d's plan for the world.

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JWR contributor Joseph Aaron is Editor of The Chicago Jewish News. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

© 2003, Joseph Aaron