First Person

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 March 17, 2004 / 24 Adar, 5764

When Americans pretend to be ‘Irish’

By Tom Purcell

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A real-life lesson in multi-culturalism | It's what always happens when you try to be something you're not. I'm not really Irish, nor are most Americans.

A few years ago my friends and I visited a new Irish pub in a bad section of downtown Washington, D.C. To be sure, "Irish" is the hot trend in restauranting these days, and Guinness has become the trendy beverage for young professionals who patronize fake Irish pubs with the hopes of being authentically Irish.

Our group included my friend Bergen (half Irish), my cousin (half Irish), Bell (possibly half Irish) and a woman we just met who looked like Paula Jones (of the Clinton-era scandals and also possibly half Irish). We sat at the fake Irish pub drinking Guinness and trying to be authentically Irish, when Bergen ordered up a fresh round of pints. That's when the disaster occurred.

At this point in our tale, you should know that Paula Jones was wearing a white sweater — her favorite white sweater, which she paid $80 for at BeBe's in Chicago. You should also know that my friend Bergen, apparently in an effort to capture the attention of this lass, knocked a full pint of oil-black Guinness onto what quickly become a chocolate-white sweater.

I, having five sisters, knew we had to get that sweater soaking in something or it would never see whiteness again. Bell ran off to get a bucket. I got the manager to supply a free Leprechaun T-shirt, so our guest could change. My cousin decided to tremble visibly, while Bergen was clearly saddened by the loss of his full pint.

Somehow we managed to get our female guest dry, get her chocolate-white sweater soaking in soda water — we set it on a table behind us — and restore equilibrium to our outing, so that we could resume our efforts to be authentically Irish.

That's when all heck broke loose again.

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Our tale now shifts its focus to the drug dealers openly plying their trade across the street. We watched them through our window when, suddenly, a half-dozen police cars came screeching in from every direction. So curious were we about this scene, we forgot about the sweater. Thus, we didn't notice the busboy who, having picked up the bucket in which the sweater was soaking, proceeded to fill it with dirty glasses, silverware, greasy napkins, etc. while busing a row of tables.

Thankfully, my cousin saw him and began shouting at him. This caused the busboy, who spoke no English, to also begin trembling visibly. But at least we headed off his subsequent actions, which would have involved the swabbing of dirty tables with an $80 chocolate-white sweater from BeBe's in Chicago.

But there wasn't time to savor our success in thwarting the busboy, as another crisis was under way. Our guest became overcome by great itchiness, an affliction, apparently, that results when Guinness dries on the skin. (Sunburn she received during a recent vacation also contributed to her malady.) So loudly did she complain (at this point she had passed through the "denial" stage and was well on her way to "anger") that our attempt at being authentically Irish was in jeopardy yet again.

I quickly applied my problem-solving skills to this latest code-red situation. I began searching the pub for mayonnaise, which, I then thought, would remedy her itching. It wasn't until afterwards that I realized my muddled thinking was brought on by an abundance of Guinness, and my efforts to rub mayonnaise all over her skin had more to do with my needs than hers.

It was about then that the cook came running out of the kitchen, shouting about shots being fired in the ally. We weren't sure if he meant shots were being fired at that moment or they had been fired before the police showed up. But it didn't matter to us. Our group rose in unison, grabbed our sweater bucket, hailed a cab and got the heck out of there.

My real Irish friends tell me that on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland, most people go to Mass, take in a parade, then enjoy the rest of the day with family — nobody gets out of hand like we do here. No, we Americans would rather pretend we are authentically Irish by getting rip-roaring drunk and singing "Irish" tunes, such as the Unicorn song.

Which illustrates my point perfectly. The Unicorn song was written by Shel Silverstein. He was Jewish.

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© 2004, Tom Purcell