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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

Let's face it: Some lives are more valuable than others, right?

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski




How we assess an individual's worth


“You are standing today, all of you, before G-d: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers—every person of Israel; your small children, your women and your proselyte who is in the midst of your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water.”

                        —   Deut. 29:9-10


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was indeed a hierarchy within the Israelite nation — the elders, the Kohanim (Priests), the Levites, the tribal heads, the judges. But, says Alshich (d. 1593), here Moses said, ''You are standing before G-d,'' and before G-d there is no classification. And if there are any people who are special before G-d, their status may not correspond with that which they enjoy in the world.


The fundamental equality of all can be seen in the Halachah (Jewish Law).


If a person is threatened that he will be killed unless he kills another person, he is required to accept martyrdom rather than to kill. The reason the Talmud gives is, ''What makes you think your blood is redder? Perhaps the blood of the other person (whom you were ordered to kill) is redder than yours'' (Pesachim 25b). In other words, what right do you have to suppose that your life is of greater value than his?


What is the Halachah if a leading scholar or philanthropist, who is the pillar of the community, is ordered, under the threat of death, to kill a person who is a vagrant, a degenerate who is a burden to the community? The Halachah remains unchanged. He must accept martyrdom rather than kill. But is it not clear that the philanthropic scholar is far superior to the degenerate vagrant, and that his life is of greater value? That is true in the eyes of man, but we have no knowledge of the scale by which G-d evaluates people.


In human terms, there can be superior or inferior. We are finite beings, and we can see the wide gap between a person of great achievement and one of little, or even no achievement. But G-d is infinite, and before infinity, a fraction of a millimeter and a million miles are both equally significant or non-significant.


A community cannot function without various stratifications. There are leaders and there are followers. There are teachers and there are students. There are donors and there are recipients. There are providers of services and there are beneficiaries of services. However, no status of any kind affects the value of a person before G-d. We are required to emulate G-d's attributes. To us also, the value of life is not measurable.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION
This is of more than academic interest. In the early days when penicillin was a new discovery, only small amounts of the drug were available. The late great sage, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, was asked, what should a doctor do if he has only a single dose of penicillin and a number of patients who require it? How should he decide to which patient it should be administered?



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Rabbi Feinstein answered that he must give it to the first patient he encounters who requires it. He may not judge who is more deserving to be treated. Today, penicillin is in abundance, but livers and kidneys for transplant are not.


Shall the available organs be given to people who are considered to be of the greatest value to the community? Rabbi Feinstein's ruling applies. There may be medical factors which may enter into a decision, but not considerations of value.


Every human life is of equal value to G-d, and must be so to us.

Comment by clicking here.

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.