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

Lessons not learned from the Madoff affair

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

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If all the Madoff scandal becomes is the tale of the rise and downfall of one man who hoodwinked shrewd, intelligent, powerful people; charities and others, then we, as a society, have missed the point

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Since December, the media seemed to be obsessed with every detail of the Madoff scandal. And the public obliged in lapping it up.

Now, there's no denying that Bernie Madoff's crime, with all of its titillating elements, made for one humdinger of a story. After all, without the least bit of hyperbole, the damage he wrought was historic.

But if all the Madoff scandal becomes is the tale of the rise and downfall of one man who hoodwinked shrewd, intelligent, powerful people; charities and others, then we, as a society, have missed the point.

The delusion of superiority enjoyed by the super-rich is reinforced by the masses who pay homage to them. Even clergy who speak out against the worship of money often defer and bend over backwards to please the wealthy in their respective communities.

A rich man commands respect and attention wherever he goes. People point him out when he walks into a room. His counsel is sought on various matters, much of which he often knows little about.

Everyone wants to be associated with success and, more often than not, the barometer of success is the size of one's bank account. Usually it matters not a whit how the money was made.

With very few exceptions, this is the way of the world. It's common today for honesty to be confused -- indeed, synonymous -- with naivete. One who declines participating in money-making schemes for ethical reasons or refuses benefits he may not be entitled to, is scorned as a fool or too "morally straight".

The hardworking electrician or craftsman who sweats from early in the morning to late at night, never overcharging and remaining fastidious about paying his taxes, may not earn anyone's admiration. It's the one who cuts corners, gives dishonest answers on government forms, overcharges and plays fast and loose with the rules who often seems to be more respected for the resulting windfall of his "accomplishments" and "skills".

An honest middle class man who pays his tuition and is punctilious in the giving of charity to the less fortunate isn't respected enough for his integrity and reliability. The same goes for the kindhearted fellow who doesn't push his weight around trying to dictate what others should do.

We have in our midst people of sterling character, individuals who are intelligent, capable and resourceful, who can envision solutions and follow through on a project to completion. These people realize that all their talents and possessions are gifts from the Divine. They remain humble and G-d fearing and loving. It's precisely this kind of person we need in positions of leadership.

But sadly, we don't appreciate these people. We seek folks who radiate glitz and glamour. Awed by their material success, we invest our trust, imagining that they possess the brilliance and competence to lead us to success.

Then, suddenly, our eyes are opened when we see the wealthy cut down by the cheapest trick in the book. We are astounded. How were such successful and prosperous people taken in? How did they allow themselves to ignore the most basic laws of investing that relatively unsophisticated people are familiar with?

The very people who inspired so much envy and hero-worship, and who we turned to for advice and guidance, have been exposed as fatally blinded by their hunger for more money and power. It fascinates people to realize that the rich are no smarter than they, and may even be less intelligent. Middle class people are amazed to see that the wealth they so covet is fleeting and meaningless, while the money they have earned and the homes they own are not figments of imagination and bustable balloons of fantasy.

The media will get over its obsession with Madoff; the public will soon lose its fascination with this story. Yet, long after the allure of this bizarre incident fades, we must remember its lessons.

Don't rush for quick gain. Don't become enamored by people who seem to prosper no matter what the economic situation. Don't judge a person by the amount of money he has. Remember that prosperity is a Divine gift intended for the recipient to better mankind and those around him.

He who uses his gifts wisely has fulfilled his obligations and accomplished what is expected of him. The one who disburses his largesse to institutions of religiosity and kindness has earned Eternity for himself and his loved ones. He who squanders it in selfish pursuits leads an empty and purposeless life. He fritters away the benefits he could have accrued in this life and wastes numerous opportunities for Eternity.

People who lead honest lives don't chase after pots of gold behind the rainbow. They make their money the old-fashioned way. They avoid subterfuge and dishonesty. When investing, they take great care to diversify, never putting all their eggs in one basket. They know that nothing works in a straight upward curve; life has its ups and downs that affect every sphere of finance.

They don't become broken and give up hope when things are pointing down. They maintain their faith and belief. In the good times, they don't flaunt their success and don't force others to conform to their idiosyncrasies. They remain committed to the greater good at all times.

We are currently experiencing a financial recession. Many good people are losing not only their jobs but their savings and the possessions they worked so hard to earn. Everyone we know seems to have been forced, at least somewhat, to lower their standard of living. In the dark as to what tomorrow will bring, many are now cutting back on all forms of spending and holding on to what they have.

People upon whom charitable organizations depended to continue their work are no longer in a position to be of much financial assistance. People with hearts overflowing with the desire to help, and who formerly supported religious institutions and social service organizations and enabled them to maintain the golden chain stretching back millennia, are themselves broken-hearted and in need of support and mercy.

In difficult straits, people may find themselves contemplating various unethical schemes to attain wealth and success by taking moral shortcuts. When tempted by dishonesty and duplicity, one has but to remember Madoff's downfall.

In the end, the truth always emerges.

Frauds and lies will only get you so far. Eventually, the treachery will catch up with you. Together with your wealth, all those adoring friends who couldn't do enough for you will disappear. Everything temporary comes to a crashing end. Only truth is enduring.

At times like these, we search for things that will uplift and inspire us positively. Neginah, song, has the power to do that in unparalleled ways. Good Jewish music is intended to reach the recesses of our neshamos (souls) and make us into better people. Simple poetic words of timeless truth when combined with proper music have a way of doing just that.

The following Sephardic song can serve to reinforce faith during these bleak times when nothing seems to going right. It's kind of facile to read it without the music, but you'll get the point. The words, in Hebrew, are more or less as follows:

If nothing is working out,
You must believe,
and have no doubt.

We can't give up,
Despite the dark,
for in our hearts,
we have a spark.

That spark is stronger
than our pains
The pain shall pass,
the spark remains.

And all the anguish, you perceive
With love you'll give,
likewise receive.

As the song proclaims, let us stay strong and cling to our beliefs. Let us cast aside the alma deshikra, this world where falsehood prevails, that tempts us every day. Let us strengthen our connection to the One Above and His Torah. In that merit, we will be merit to greet the righteous Messiah. May he come speedily, in our day.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz is Editor in Chief of the Monsey, New York-based Chareidi weekly, Yated Neeman.

© 2009, Yated Neeman