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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

How to be spiritual, correctly

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.




The first installent in our new "Daily Inspiration" series


There has recently been a great increase of interest in spirituality. There are generally reasons why a certain phenomenon occurs at a particular time in history, and the reason for the upsurge of interest in spirituality is not difficult to determine.

Until relatively recently in history, life was a difficult ordeal. As late as the turn of this century, epidemics decimated entire communities, childhood diseases claimed the lives of many children, new mothers died in childbirth, infant mortality was high, and tuberculosis truncated many young lives. The average life span was under 40. Work conditions were strenuous, with many hours of hard physical labor required to earn one's livelihood. Travel was time consuming and arduous, and communications were fraught with lengthy delays. Climatic conditions were often virtually intolerable, and although one might warm up with a pot-belly stove or at the fireplace, there was no escape from torrid heat.

The genius of science and technology in this century has been spectacular. Immunization has eliminated epidemics and many childhood diseases. Antibiotics have cured the lethal childbed fever, and there is not a single tuberculosis hospital in all America! Work conditions are quite comfortable, with much of the labor being done by machines, often controlled by electronic devices. Jet flight gives one access to remote lands within hours, and the telephone permits immediate contact around the globe. Microwaves reduce cooking time to minutes, and efficient furnaces and air-conditioning allow one to live in comfort, while entertainment is brought into the home via the media. Many of the miseries and distresses of just several decades ago have been eliminated by human genius.

Obviously, mankind is still unhappy. The incidence of alcoholism and drug addiction, especially among young people, indicates that all the comforts of modern living notwithstanding, mankind is nevertheless discontented. Psychiatrists and psychologists are not at a loss for patients who are dissatisfied with life. Let us therefore reflect: What is there that human genius can do, either technologically or scientifically, that can make mankind happy? While there is now hope that a cure for cancer will soon be found, will that great achievement really eliminate mankind's doldrums? I know that it is politically incorrect to say this, but let us realize that prolongation of life is not an unmixed blessing. There are now states that deny payment for certain medical procedures after 80, and the single greatest concern that occupies both the executive and legislative branches of government is what to do about the social security system and runaway Medicare costs. Let's face it. The cure for cancer will be hailed as a marvelous medical accomplishment, which it certainly will be, and many individuals will be most thankful for this medical breakthrough, but society as a whole will be hard pressed to support the care necessary for the ever-increasing population.

Insofar as technology is concerned, just what are we lacking that could give us happiness? Digital television? Computers with a more rapid download? Copiers that will duplicate more quickly? Perhaps you can think of something that I cannot.

I believe that we have come to realize that while science and technology have indeed provided greater comfort, and have made life much easier, they have not and cannot give us a reason for life or an ultimate goal in life.

The phenomenon of the 60s and its aftermath may be due to the reasoning that the unprecedented marvels resulting from man's genius have obviated the need for anything transcendental. Science and technology had so revolutionized life with their amazing feats, that they would no doubt soon solve all humans problems, hence the motto among the young visionaries that "G-d is dead." But alas! The next few decades demonstrated the limitations of science and technology, and people have come to realize that the search for happiness must be directed elsewhere, hence the interest in spirituality.

The drug epidemic on the one hand and the flight to cults on the other indicate the depth of dissatisfaction that prevails today. These desperate attempts at finding some comfort or purpose in life are by no means limited to people who feel disenfranchised and who despair of the opportunity to advance themselves. Drug use and cultism are prevalent among the affluent of society who lack for nothing. One cannot come to any conclusion other than that there is a disillusionment with the material world, and people are groping for anything that promises them relief from a feeling of futility, which results in the increased interest in spirituality.

DEFINITION OF SPIRITUALITY
Spirituality is a frequently used term, but one which is rather difficult to define; indeed, spirituality may mean different things to different people. What I am about to present is a definition which I have been using in my work. It is certainly not the final word on the subject.

Let me first state what Jewish spirituality is not. Spirituality is not withdrawing from society and isolating oneself as a recluse, eating the bare minimum to remain alive and sleeping on the ground, spending the entire day in prayer and meditation. During the time of the Second Temple there was a sect of Essenes who separated themselves from society to devote themselves totally to prayer and study of Torah. They rejected anything that provided physical gratification, and they therefore abstained from eating meat, drinking wine, and getting married.

This is not the type of spirituality the Torah advocates. We are permitted to eat meat and drink wine judiciously, and we are required to marry and have families. We should work and engage in commerce. In short, we are to lead normal lives, but all the activities of normal living should be within the scope of spirituality.

The Torah states, "You shall be holy people unto Me" (Exodus 22:30), and the Hebrew lends itself to the interpretation of Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk: "You shall be humanly holy." We are not expected to be angels. To the contrary, we are supposed to be human, but spiritually so.


A wealthy chassid once boasted to his Rebbe that he has a separate house where he resides only on Passover, and no leaven ever enters the house. In this way he is absolutely certain that he is in complete compliance with the Torah requirement to be free of all leaven on Passover.

The Rebbe was not at all impressed. "What you are doing is actually contrary to the wishes of the Torah. The point is precisely to have leaven all year round, and to dispose of it on Passover. Not having the need to search after leaven and clean the house thoroughly defeats the purpose."

What the Rebbe was referring to is the symbolism of leaven as representing the yetzer hara, the drive to gratify our physical impulses. We know we have a yetzer hara, and we must work diligently to rid ourselves of it. Not to have leaven, i.e., a yetzer hara, is to be an angel. We are to be holy humans, not angels.

Before tackling spirituality, let us try to define a more elementary term: humanity.


We'll continue the discussion, tomorrow


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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 62 books to his credit.





© 2010, "Used by permission. Artscroll Mesorah Publications".