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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

Grasping greatness — and its limitations



By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski


Believers must be on guard against the dangers of cultism


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many commentaries note that from the birth of Moses onward, there is not one portion of the Torah in which Moses' name is not mentioned, with the exception of this week's, Tetzaveh.


Baal HaTurim says that this is because, when pleading for forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses said to G-d that if He will not forgive the Israelites, ''erase me now from the book that You have written'' (Exodus 32:32). Although G-d did forgive them, Moses' words were nevertheless effective, because, teaches the Talmud, ''the curse of a righteous person is fulfilled even if uttered on a conditional basis'' (Berachos 56a).


Other commentaries have offered other explanations.


The explanation of Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin is impressive. The readings of the Torah are so arranged that the portion of Tezaveh almost invariable occurs in the week of Adar 7, the birth date and day of death of Moses. One might have thought that this day would have special significance in Judaism. In order to de-emphasize the birth date and date of death of Moses, the sages arranged the readings so that the portion of Torah in which his name is not mentioned is read that week.


This is a far-reaching observation, and calls for a delicate balance. Moses was the greatest of all prophets, the lawgiver who transmitted G-d's word to us. Moses was a teacher: Known in the Holy Tongue as Moshe Rabbeinu. But he was only the agent of G-d, not the principal.


There is a tendency among people to deify their leaders. The Roman emperors became gods. In my writings on self-esteem (Let Us Make Man, "Angels Don't Leave Footprints", "Life's Too Short") I pointed out a number of mechanisms whereby a person with low-self esteem may try to gain a feeling of worthiness. One of these is a form of hero worship, whereby a person sets someone up as the ultimate in greatness, and by identifying with him and becoming his devotee, one participates in the greatness which one has imparted to his totem.



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The ultimate in this defense mechanism is to elevate someone to godhood and identify with him. This is essentially the dynamics of cults.


The Talmud says that it was the eirev rav, a group of Egyptians who had joined the Israelites in the Exodus, who were responsible for the Golden Calf. This is borne out by the statement that the worshippers of the Golden Calf said, ''This is your god, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt'' (Exodus 32:1-4), which indicates that it was a group of outsiders who were addressing the Israelites. Although the eirev rav had witnessed the dividing of the waters of the Reed Sea and the revelation at Sinai, they were unable to grasp the concept of an abstract G-d.


They developed a ''Moses cult,'' and when they thought that Moses had died, they said to Aaron, ''Make for us gods that will go before us.''


Unfortunately, during their enslavement in Egypt and exposure to the Egyptian culture, some of the Israelites had become vulnerable to Egyptian thought, and they did not subdue the eirev rav.


Under Moses' continued tutelage and admonitions against all forms of idolatry, they developed a firm faith in G-d rather than in man or a totem. When Bilam sought to cast an evil spell upon Israel, he found himself unable to do so and exclaimed, ''It is G-d Who brought them out of Egypt'' (Numbers 23:22).


With a firm faith in G-d, Israel is immune to curses.


Rabbi Sorotzkin's insight enables us to understand why the Passover Haggadah, which is a detailed account of the Exodus, omits the central character of the story: Moses. It is because we must remember that, ''It is G-d Who brought them out of Egypt.''


Humans have their frailties, and one of these weaknesses is to deify great leaders. We must be cautious not to succumb to this tendency. We must honor our great leaders, revere them and most of all, learn from them, but we do not worship them or pray to them.


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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). Comment by clicking here.

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