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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

Advancement of technology is a wake-up call for humanity

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson


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A previous century sage's lesson is magnified exponentially by the phenomenon of the Internet. The message is one well worth internalizing


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Imagine you're on a family vacation half way around the world. You turn a corner and behold — your own life-size portrait beams back at you from a local storefront.


Impossible? Danielle Smith doesn't think so anymore. It wasn't Ms. Smith herself but an old college friend who spotted the Missouri resident and her family adorning a shop window as he was driving through the streets of Prague. The picture, sent out to friends by the Smith family on their holiday greeting cards, had found its way via the Internet to the front of a trendy grocery store in the Czech Republic.


The friend snapped a few pictures and sent them to Ms. Smith, leaving her scratching her head. "This story doesn't frighten me," she said, "but the potential frightens me."


In truth, the story shouldn't come as much of a surprise at all. With increasing frequency we hear stories of pictures surfacing on the Internet for all to see — often causing consternation or profound embarrassment, sometimes destroying marriages, careers, and reputations. In a world nearly bereft of personal privacy, where cameras hide in every cellphone and on every street corner, only the terminally naive imagine that any action can go completely unnoticed.


An office party, a late night ramble, a weekend in Fort Lauderdale over spring break a dozen years ago — any of these fleeting and forgotten episodes could easily come back to haunt us tomorrow, reminding us of a momentary lapse of good judgment in the most public and irretrievable way.

A WORLD GROWN SMALLER
Ironically, although the technology is relatively new, the identical lesson was taught nearly a century ago by the last great sage of European Jewy, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, in whose time two new devices began to gain popularity throughout western society: the telephone and the motion picture.


Always observing the world around him through the lens of Jewish philosophy, Rabbi Kagan pondered what the technological innovations of his day could teach the modern Jew about his place and purpose in the world. He concluded that these novelties might provide concrete examples of Torah principles for a humanity growing ever more desensitized to the presence of spirituality in the lives.


Before the invention of the telephone, most people depended upon hand delivered letters if they sought contact with people or places far from home. Slow and unreliable, the inefficiency of communication made the world a much larger place, with news of friends, family, and distant communities lagging days, weeks, or even months behind actual events. Conversely, the effect of one's own actions beyond the limits of one's village or neighborhood seemed insignificant.


Similarly, before the invention of motion pictures, the moments of our lives seemed particularly transient. The actions of one instant disappeared from consciousness the next, forgotten by others and often by us as well. Only acts that left something enduring behind seemed to have permanence: the building of a barn, the planting of a field, the birthing of a calf. But day-to-day existence left no mark upon the physical world and, consequently, no mark upon people's hearts and minds.


And then all that changed. Almost overnight people and communities across Europe became connected to one another. More gradually, but even more dramatically, the preservation of moving images wove itself into the fabric of the human psyche. The world contracted, collective memory expanded, and society began to think and act in ways never before imagined.

WAKE-UP CALL
Rabbi Kagan interpreted these inventions as a wake-up call. According to Torah philosophy, we live not in isolation but intimately connected to the Creator who dwells at the heart of the universe. Our actions do not pass out of existence from moment to moment but are preserved for all eternity. And so, just as the world was slipping over the brink of moral oblivion under the influence of nihilism and secular "enlightenment," Rabbi Kagan saw the telephone and the motion picture as gifts from the Master of the World, providing compelling paradigms of how our actions truly matter, how they can be perceived across the world and preserved for generations.


The phenomenon of the Internet magnifies Rabbi Kagan's lesson exponentially. After posting the story of the photo, Danielle Smith has had some 200,000 hits on her family Website. Today, news and images travel with nearly unlimited speed and circulation. A single picture can become a cause celebre literally overnight — bringing with it inspiration or humiliation, comic irony or personal devastation.


So too our actions. One small deed may send out ripples like a stone cast into still waters, traveling to the farthest reaches of the farthest shore, unrecognized for what it has wrought but no less relevant for its unseen origins. Nothing we do is meaningless, no action of ours goes unnoticed, and everything is recorded for the final day of reckoning we must all face when we reach the end of our lives, which we will look back on the accumulated moments of our existence. If we take Rabbi Kagan's lesson to heart, rather than burning with the shame of opportunities lost we will exult in the awesome potential we have achieved.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Yonason Goldson teaches at Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, MO, where he also writes and lectures. Visit him at http://torahideals.wordpress.com .






© 2009, Rabbi Yonason Goldson