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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 16, 2010 / 4 Tamuz 5770

Classic References

By Richard Lederer


Bill O'Reilly


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, officials from Mainland China offered a pair of pandas to the people of Taiwan. The Taiwanese populace swooned over the gift, but the island's president, Chen Shuibian, urged his government to say no, fearing that the cute bundles of fur would turn out to be "Trojan pandas."

The fullest effect of President Shuibian's comment is achieved only if the listener or reader knows something about the decade-long Trojan War, chronicled in the Greek poet Homer's epic, The Iliad.

Priam and Hecuba were king and queen of Troy and their son Hector its bravest defender. In an effort to win the war, the Greeks sent a huge wooden horse to the Trojans as an offering to Athena. Inside the horse were hiding a host of soldiers. The priest Laocoon tried to warn the Trojans to beware of Greeks bearing gifts but was killed by two giant serpents. Later, the Greek soldiers emerged from the horse by night and overthrew Troy.

Allusions like the "Trojan pandas" allow us to experience an idea on two levels at once by linking what we are reading or hearing with what we have read or heard in the past. Allusions enhance the present through experiences that glow through time. Our lives are considerably enriched when we are able to identify such references because allusions play an important role in creating impressions and emotions.

Not long ago, I received the following satirical virus warning in my bag of e-mail:

"Hey Hector,
"This was forwarded to me by Cassandra -- it looks legit. Please distribute to Priam, Hecuba, and your 99 siblings.
Thanks, Laocoon

"WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!"
"If you receive a gift in the shape of a large wooden horse, do not download it! It is extremely destructive and will overwrite your entire city!!!
"The 'gift' is disguised as a large wooden horse about two stories tall. It tends to show up outside the city gates and appears to be abandoned. Do not let it through the gates! It contains hardware that is incompatible with Trojan programming, including a crowd of heavily armed Greek warriors that will destroy your army, sack your town, and kill your women and children. If you have already received such a gift, do not open it! Take it back out of the city unopened and set fire to it by the beach."
"Forward this message to everyone you know!"

Well, please forward this message to everyone you know. The more you learn about the references and allusions that knit us together as a civilization, the deeper you will live -- and the more you will laugh. Knowledge of the Trojan horse is the pass-key to appreciating a host of cartoons and captions:

  • A huge wooden horse stands on wheels with a sign on it: "Warning: Contents of this horse may be hazardous to your health."
  • Two Greek soldiers see a large wooden horse in the distance. One soldier says to the other, "I'll bet I know which part of the horse they'll put us enlisted men in."
  • An architect shows a picture of a colossal horse to his emperor, who comments, "I like the concept if we can do it with no new taxes."
  • Two Greek soldiers are viewing a wooden horse mounted on a skateboard. Says one to the other, "It was going to be an elephant before they slashed the defense budget."

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JWR contributor Richard Lederer is a language maven. More than a million of his books, which have been Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild alternate selections, are in print. His latest work is Presidential Trivia: The Feats, Fates, Families, Foibles, and Firsts of Our American Presidents


© 2010, Richard Lederer

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