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 May 9, 2008 / 4 Iyar 5768

Reverence, Yes; Worship, No

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

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The Bible's warning about how we are to relate to our spiritual mentors

“You shall sanctify him (the Kohen/priest), for he offers the food of your G-d; he shall remain holy to you, for holy am I, G-d, Who sanctifies you.”

                        —   Lev. 21:8

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is of interest that wherever the Torah (Bible) refers to the sanctity of the Kohen, it says, ''For I am G-d Who makes him holy'' (21:16, 22:9, 22:16). The exception is in the above verse which dictates that we revere the Kohen for his holiness, and closes with, ''For holy am I, G-d, Who sanctifies you.''

Inasmuch as it speaks about the sanctity of the Kohen, it would appear to be more appropriate to say, ''Who sanctifies him'' as it does elsewhere, rather than, ''Who sanctifies you.''

What we have here is a Torah guideline to help us avoid a serious error. We must be very careful how we relate to our spiritual leaders. There is a healthy, constructive attitude, but there can also be an unhealthy attitude.

We must, of course, have spiritual leaders. The Talmud says, ''Accept a teacher upon yourself'' (Ethics of the Fathers 1:6). This is binding on everyone. No person, not even a learned person, should be without an authoritative Torah guide. We are very vulnerable to be biased by personal interests that may distort our judgment. But although we must revere our spiritual leaders, we must be cautious that we do not deify or worship them.

There is a healthy attachment to a teacher or spiritual leader, but it is not beyond the possibility that, as a result of one's psychological needs, a person may turn such a relationship into ''hero worship,'' akin to the cult phenomenon which has unfortunately lured some young Jews.

I believe that hero worship is the consequence of a lack of self-esteem. Many people have unwarranted feelings of low self-esteem. The feeling of unworthiness is an intensely painful emotion. I elaborated on this in Angels Don't Leave Footprints and Let Us Make Man, describing a number of ways in which people may seek relief from this agony.

The dynamics of hero worship are quite simple. If I view myself as being unworthy and having little redeeming value, I may seek relief from this feeling by attaching myself to someone whom I think of as having great value. By identifying with that person and feeling myself to be one with him, I, too, can have value. This attachment may be reinforced if the hero is a person who seeks aggrandizement and encourages such attachment.

The attachment to the hero may be so strong that the person allows himself to be totally controlled by him. This is not the same as accepting guidance from a spiritual leader, but rather a total surrender of oneself. I suspect that something like this may have occurred in the episode of the worship of the Golden Calf.

Our sages tell us that it was the eirev rav, the Egyptians who accompanied the Israelites in the Exodus, who were responsible for the Golden Calf. These people had been idolaters and had no concept of an abstract G-d. They had formed a ''Moses cult,'' and when they thought Moses had died, they replaced him with an idol.

The best prevention against developing hero worship is a healthy self-esteem. There should be no need of so desperate a defensive maneuver as to fuse oneself with a hero and lose one's identity. Having a feeling of worthiness can forestall such a pathological identification.

This may be the message in the verses cited in regard to the Kohen. He should be respected and revered because G-d has sanctified him. However, we should remember that our self-worth does not emanate from the Kohen.

Rather, it comes from G-d; ''for holy am I, G-d, Who sanctifies you.'' We have great value independent of the Kohen, because G-d has sanctified us and has instilled a soul, a part of His essence, within us. We, therefore, identify with G-d, rather than with a flesh and blood person, and we should have no need for hero worship.

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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 30 books to his credit, including, "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR).

© 2007, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.