Reality Check

In this issue

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

Becoming glory conscious --- of Him, not us

By Jonathan Rosenblum

The need to be deeper people, with the self-knowledge that comes from reflecting on what makes one unique | It would be easy to prepare a laundry list of challenges facing the faith community (however defined) and areas in need of improvement. That would also be true of every human society that has ever existed.

Where Torah society differs, I think, is that it offers a way of addressing all those distinct challenges by focusing on one central point: What is our purpose in this world? This has little to do with money, and everything to do with changing consciousness.

In chapter 19 of Mesilas Yesharim, the Ramchal (d. 1746 )describes the chassid (pious one) as one whose every thought and deed is with the intention of increasing Kavod Shomayim (the glory of the Almighty) in the world. Admittedly, that is an extraordinarily high level only a few ever attained, even in the Ramchal's day. But it points the way towards a consciousness that should be the focus of our educational expectations . Each of us must know and convey to our children that everything we do in the world either increases or lessens Kavod Shomayimin the world, through the messages we convey.

The impact of such a consciousness would be felt on both the individual and communal level. To the extent that one is aware of every moment as an opportunity to increase Kavod Shomayim, one must constantly ask the question: What is the right thing for me to be doing now. The answer to that question is by no means obvious: Most of our life is lived between the realm of permitted and proscribed.

But the only place to seek the answer is the Torah combined with knowledge of ourselves. The Torah, writes Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (d. 1888), is Divine Anthropology. The Torah teaches us about Man from the point of view of the Divine. The mitzvos (religious duties) must be understood not as arbitrary rules that demand only obedience, but as the tools through which He seeks to shape the ideal human being. Accordingly, Rabbi Hirsch explains the meaning and life lessons of each detail of the mitzvos.

Approaching Torah in that fashion — as a continuous message about how to conduct ourselves — intensifies our learning. One example of the approach will show how it encourages probing questions and leads to real life answers.


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The foremost biblical commentator, Rashi (d. 1105) , describes the biblical Jacob as preparing for war, sending gifts, and praying in anticipation of meeting Esau. Why, asked Rabbi Noah Weinberg (d. 2009), should preparations for war precede prayer, which would seem the primary response of a man of faith? He answered that every situation in which we find ourselves is a message from the Divine. First, we have to show Him that we are listening and know that something must be changed, and then we can pray that the test come in a less onerous form.

A Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of the Almighty) consciousness also fills one's life with the idealism and sense of purpose that is too lacking today. Each of us has a mission that no one else can fulfill, and that mission does not depend on class rank, popularity or good looks. It derives from the fact that no one else was ever in exactly the same situation as I am at this precise moment because no one else was ever exactly like me or shared the same personal history. And therefore the message that I am broadcasting to increase Kavod Shomayim (or, Heaven forbid, the opposite) is one that has never been heard in exactly the same way before. And it never will be again.

Thinking more about Kavod Shomayim would thus make us deeper people, with the self-knowledge that comes from reflection upon what makes one unique. And it would fill our lives with more passion and lead to a more intense connection to our Torah learning.

There is also a crucial communal dimension to Kavod Shomayim consciousness: It reinforces our sense of ourselves as being inextricably bound to every other co-religionist. In the same chapter previously mentioned, the Ramchal, based on Pirkei D'Rebbe Eliezer, describes the pious as constantly thinking about the good of the generation.

A Kavod Shomayim perspective necessitates that we think beyond our individual and familial lives. Rabbi Shimon Schwab (d. 1995 )writes that it was our forefather Jacob's desire to rest from proclaiming the Divine's Name in the world to focus on his own spiritual growth and the education of his children that opened the door for the Satan.

The more involved we are in the message that we wish to convey the less we will be threatened by others. As the football coaches say, "The best defense is a good offense."

When we are constantly thinking in terms of Kavod Shomayim, we cannot help be aware that someone is receiving the messages that we are transmitting. Sometimes our only audience is the Divine, but often times it is all those in whose presence we find ourselves, whether gentiles or Jews.

Only with coming of the Messiah, will all the tears of Jewish life, both individual and communal, be wiped away. Until the ultimate revelation of Kavod Shomayim, our primary task is to demonstrate our eagerness for the Redemption by everything in our power to increase Kavod Shomayim through our own deeds and by bringing us closer to our Father in Heaven.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of the Jerusalem-based Jewish Media Resources. A respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel, his articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is also the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School.

© 2012, Jonathan Rosenblum