Reality Check

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 May 28, 2004 / 8 Sivan, 5764

Cold feet and cold beers

By Zev Chafets

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article | Last week in Port Chester, in Westchester County, a stranger and I shared a television set and watched the Detroit Pistons beat the New Jersey Nets.

The stranger was a black man in his early 30s. Unlike me, he was a Nets fan.

"How come you're for the Pistons?" he wanted to know.

"I was raised in Detroit," I told him. "But I've lived most of my life in Israel."

"Israel? It's a mess over there right now."

"Yeah, well, the Nets aren't doing too good, either."

"No, for real," he said. "What about that air strike on the demonstrators in Gaza?"

I nodded and kept watching the game.

"What did you think about it?" he asked.

"There's a war going on," I said.

The stranger looked at me. "Kids got killed in that air strike," he said in a tone that invited me to share his ... what? Outrage? Empathy?

I was tempted. Here we were, two strangers, one black and one white, a young blood and a graybeard, a Nets fan and a Pistons lover. I was being offered a bridge across those gaps, a chance to share a moment of human solidarity.

I knew the right words: Same thing as in Iraq, American planes wiping out all those women and kids at a wedding party. Killing isn't the answer. There's got to be a better way.

Knew them but didn't say them.

Instead I said, "Terrible things happen in war. But that doesn't make the war wrong."

The stranger frowned. "Man, that's cold."

He didn't mean it as a compliment, but I took it as one.

No war is worth supporting if it can't be supported in cold blood. Revenge, honor, glory and other such hot-blooded impulses aren't good enough reasons to go to war, or to sustain one.

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Americans are learning that now. Many of the politicians and commentators who beat the drums for invading Iraq have begun beating their breasts instead. They didn't bargain for the pictures from Abu Ghraib or reports of the accidental slaughter of innocent villagers.

They didn't think about how unpopular war would make them with the friends of their enemies or how unpleasant it would be to watch the evening news. They no longer want to be associated with war's terrible inevitabilities.

Their sudden scrupulousness is not a badge of moral superiority. On the contrary, it is a mark of cowardice and a sign of bad character. Every grownup who supported sending troops to Iraq (and Afghanistan) knew that they would wind up unintentionally killing or injuring some civilians and abusing the rights of others. The question was, and remains: Is the war worthwhile despite what it entails?

The answer, at least in my opinion, is yes. The worldwide fight against Islamic fascism — whose hottest theaters are presently Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza — is a good cause in the same way that World War II was a good cause.

It is not about payback for 9/11 or other acts of terrorism. Rather, it is a wholly necessary struggle against a debased, xenophobic and aggressive ideology.

This war can be won, but only with patience and self-confidence and the willingness to inflict as much punishment as necessary. In other words, in cold blood.

I didn't say any of this to the stranger in Port Chester, though. I got the feeling that he wasn't a great fan of the war (he subsequently told me that the beheading of Nick Berg was ordered by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA), and I didn't feel like getting into an argument.

Besides, the guy was a Nets fan — he was already taking enough punishment. So I just said, "Speaking of cold, what's the matter with Jason Kidd?" and left the war talk for another time.

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JWR contributor Zev Chafets is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2004, NY Daily News