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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

Golden Calf still with us — except it has multiplied

By Rabbi Berel Wein




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The narrative of the incident of Israel and the Golden Calf — read this week publicly from the Torah — is so riveting and fascinating that we return to it year after year with renewed and refreshed interest.


How did human beings that experienced godly Revelation at Sinai revert to worshipping a Golden Calf just a few short weeks later? What happened to the "the kingdom of priests and holy nation" to cause this terrible reversal of course?


The great biblical commentators and, in fact, the Jewish people itself, in its deepest soul, have all wrestled with the problem of understanding this unfathomable fall of Israel and its consequences. And even though a full solution to this problem is not present, at least not in this limited space, I think that there are a number of insights that are apparent from this event, and that these insights are pertinent and necessary to us, personally and nationally, today as well.


The Torah itself stresses that the absence of Moses from the Israelite encampment for so many weeks after the Revelation at Sinai was a strong contributing factor to the debacle of the Golden Calf. Jews, like all other humans, need strong, courageous, sensitive, wise leadership. Every person must, perforce, make difficult decisions for themselves. The world and Jewish society especially, is not a dictatorship governed by infallible people. But, at the same time, people require guidance, direction and vision in their lives.


There must always be someone to point the way, to identify the goals and to formulate plans and ideas. The Jewish people were still too raw, too insecure, and too new to freedom to be able to be weaned from Moses' continuing presence and leadership. Panicked, they searched for a substitute Moses and reverted back to the idolatrous ways of the society of Egypt where they had been raised. After forty years, the Jewish people would be able to bear the permanent loss of Moses. But it would take many years of Torah life and training for them to make it on their own with Joshua as their new leader.


The absence of visionary leadership in many sections of today's Jewish world is what has contributed to the plethora of Golden Calves that surround and bedevil us. The Holocaust has crippled us in many ways. Visionary leadership has been one of its worst casualties. The creation of the Golden Calf was instigated by a group of people described by the Rabbis as "the eiruv rav" (a great mixture of peoples.)


This section of the Jewish people was comprised of members of many other nations in Egypt who escaped from their bondage by attaching themselves to the Jewish people at the moment of the Exodus from Egypt. These people became "fair-weather" Jews. During the decades of Jewish wandering in the desert of Sinai, the "eiruv rav" constantly agitated against Moses and against true Jewish interests. At every opportunity, whenever problems and discomfort arose on the road to the Land of Israel, they always raised the option of returning to Egypt, of becoming pagans once more, of discarding the great Jewish dream in favor of "watermelons and leeks and onions and cucumbers." Unfortunately, whether out of malice or ignorance, the "eiruv rav" still is present amongst us today.

Letter from JWR publisher


In a wholesale manner, Jews are abandoning Judaism and are being encouraged to do so by others whose commitment to Judaism and Jewish survival is tepid, at best. In the present society's permissive atmosphere that allows one to construct the rules of one's own religion as one wishes, the "eiruv rav" agitates for the destruction of tradition and the elimination of explicitly stated Torah values and behavior. Is it any wonder, then, that the people yet dance around the Golden Calf?


Lastly, I wish to point out that saving the Jewish people from the clutches of the Golden Calf is not always pleasant and joyful work. When Moses returns to the encampment of the Jews and sees for himself the destruction — both physical and moral — that the creation of the Golden Calf has wrought, he calls for action, even for civil war in order to save the people. "Who is unto G-d, let him come unto me!" is his battle cry. And the men of the tribe of Levi who rallied to his cause at that fateful moment in Jewish history, slew thousands in order to save Israel from the wrath of Godly destruction.


Moses remembers the loyalty of Levi to the cause of Jewish survival in his final blessings to the people of Israel. "They spared not even family in their loyalty to G-d's covenant," he exclaims. Moses allows no compromise with the Golden Calf, for that will only lead the people down the slippery slope of spiritual annihilation.


It is an insight that we should ponder in our current society as well.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Berel Wein --- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com



© 2010, Rabbi Berel Wein