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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 Dec. 31, 2007 / 22 Teves 5768

Two Jewish gents hit the road, rootless and restless

By Glenn C. Altschuler

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) "I am not overly encumbered by principle," Zelikman, the gloomy Jewish physician from Regensburg, reminds Amram, the Abyssian. "I am a gentleman of the road, an apostate from the faith of my fathers, a renegade, a brigand, a hired blade, a thief." Like his partner, Amram does not "stoop to politics" and thinks mercy a flaw, and a "terrible waste of time."


Or do they? In Michael Chabon's spirited, sad, and sumptuously written new novel, set in the Khazar Empire in the 10th century, these two brothers under the skin could have sold the callow young royal they've captured at the nearest slave market. Instead, they risk their lives to help Filaq regain the throne from Buljan, the usurper.


Fascinated by "the ever-extending, ever-thinning cord, braided from the freedom of the wanderer and the bondage of exile, that binds a Jew to his home" and compels him to leave it, Chabon chose "Jews With Swords" as his working title. When it made his friends "want to laugh" he relented. Nonetheless, he demonstrates in "Gentlemen of the Road" — as he did in "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" — that the incongruity of Jewish adventurers makes them "all the more ripe to feature" in this tale.


Especially when he puts them in an existentialist "buddy" story. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae, Zelikman and Amram are rootless and restless. Amram took to the road after Dinah, his daughter, walked to the shore of the river Birber with a basket of laundry and disappeared. The Regensburg Zelikman left was "cold and gray and green and rank with fog," and hardly ever hospitable to Jews. Zelikman enjoys the "ineffable Arabian humor" and demonic intelligence of his horse, Hillel. But "he had never lain with a woman or a man."



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No strangers to violence, Zelikman and Amram would rather haggle or hoodwink than kill. They are lonesome doves, loyal to each other, and their own code of honor. "I want nothing to do with soldiers, armies, chains of command," Zelikman tells his friend. "All the evil in the world derives from men acting in a mass against other masses of men."


In saving lives, Zelikman broods, "I just prolong their futility." But he joins Amram at Filaq's side when the stripling asks for enlistments in "The Brotherhood of the Elephant."


And so, Zelikman and Amram enter "the heart of the heart" of Chabon's exquisitely imagined medieval world, with its "beks," "kagans," and "shatranj boards," its circular brick tower set "in a glossy moat, within a ring of laurels, at the center of a vast courtyard of cyclopean flagstones," and its "barbarous swaggering" Rus captain "whom the vicissitudes of the plunderous life had left only half a face."


And — surprise! — after a plot twist or two "and the usual intrusions of violence and grace," all's right with the world, at least for the moment. "Where will you go?" a comrade asks our heroes. "It's Amram's turn to choose," Zelikman replies, as he thinks about his father, who is dying in Regensburg. The next morning the Abyssinian is waiting in the yard, "stamping his feet, complaining of the chill in bones that were too old for love and adventure."


As they had done so many times before, the odd couple mounted their horses and left the city, their direction "of no interest to either of them, their destination already intimately known, each of them wrapped deep in his thick fur robes and in the solitude that they had somehow contrived to share."

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