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 April 1, 2005 / 21 Adar II, 5765

If Michael Schiavo had met Yacov the Jerusalemite

By Jonathan Rosenblum

Michael Schiavo
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have been thinking a lot about Marsi Tabak recently. I first met Marsi about fifteen years ago, when she hired me for my first major editing job.

Marsi was already something of a legend in the world of Jewish publishing for taking a manuscript about an abandoned Chinese baby found in a train station by a completely assimilated Jewish professor, that had been rejected by several publishers and fashioning it into "The Bamboo Cradle," one of the all-time best-sellers in the Orthodox world. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Marsi was bright — intimidatingly so — and demanding.. But we hit it off. Though that initial project ended abruptly, Marsi and I remained friendly, and I always felt that she took Pygmalion-like pride in the development of my subsequent career.

I haven't seen Marsi since she suffered a heart attack seven years ago that left her in what has been diagnosed as a persistent vegetative state (PVS). I do, however, run into her husband Yacov at the numerous family simchas of another author whose career she did much to shape.

Invariably, Yacov responds to my inquiries about Marsi with expressions of thanks for the progress that has been made and hope for future progress. Last week, Yacov was moved to write about Marsi to the Jerusalem Post, in response to a series of articles about Terri Schiavo and the Jewish approach to such situations. Subsequently, CNN picked up the story and interviewed the Tabaks and aired a three-minute segment on them.

Over the last seven years, Marsi has learned again to swallow and to stand with the assistance of a walker. Each of these achievements — i.e., the performance of the most routine, everyday actitivies — has been hard-won, the result of months and even years of effort by each family member and various physiotherapists. As a result of Marsi and her family's efforts, she accompanied her daughter to the chuppah, and on Purim her son read the Megilla to her, as he does every year. Yacov describes communication as "very challenging, but possible, and very rewarding."

Yacov hopes that the brilliant woman he married will again be able to converse freely with him, just as Sarah Scantlin, a Kansas woman who had been in PVS for twenty years, began to speak well this past February. Whether or not that happens, however, he will have no regrets about devoting himself to her improvement. "To witness my wife struggling today with her challenging physiotherapy while standing in a walker is to understand what the will to live really means," he writes.

I cite Yacov Tabak not as a club with which to figuratively beat a less devoted husband like Michael Schiavo. No one who has not been in Michael Schiavo's situation is entitled to judge his actions, or to assume that he would act as Yacov Tabak. My only question for Michael Schiavo is: Why insist on retaining the power to kill your wife while morally compromised by your desire to remarry and your position as heir to the remainder of her $1.2 million malpractice judgment? Why not simply divorce her?

But I would fear to live in a society that sets the procedural and evidentiary bar so low for the termination of life as the state of Florida has done in the case of Terry Schiavo. And I'm proud to live in a religious Jewish society in which Yacov Tabak's efforts on behalf of his beloved wife are the societal ideal.

Only a society that still believes in the human soul, in something ineffable that cannot be expressed in terms of EEG's, can produce a Yacov Tabak, or for that matter a JewishWorldReview.com's Marianne Jennings, professor of Legal and Ethical Studies at Arizona State University, who has lived for more than a decade with a daughter who depends on a feeding tube and who now has a mother in the same state. "Eliminating them," she writes here, "would mean no more diaper changes, no more feeding bags, and no more '1-2-3 lift!' as we struggle to rotate their positions. But if I lost my Claire or my mother, I would spend a lifetime longing to be of service again, to have just one more time to feel the warmth of those neurologically curled fingers."

And a society which defines life only in terms of the capacity to experience a certain set of pleasures is on the road towards elimination of those who lack a certain societally determined "quality of life." Indeed the killing by starvation of a sentient, responsive woman, who requires no more life support than an infant, is already well down the road.

That slippery slippery slope is rapidly traversed. In the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, there is growing evidence that many elderly and infirm people feel pressured by their families to "consent" to their own killing so as not to constitute a burden on them. By following the recommendation of Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer to jettison "doctrines about the sanctity of life," the Netherlands has, in just a few years, come close to Singer's own ideal of a society in which it is "the refusal to accept killing that, in some cases, [will be seen] as horrific."

May we continue to be guided by the Biblical injunction: Choose life.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is Israeli director of Am Echad. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Jonathan Rosenblum