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 July 31, 2006 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5766

5 girls, 1 boy and lots of laughs

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For the sake of everybody, I wish more people could experience the family life I knew as a kid. I was raised the only boy with five sisters, an experience that was at once a blessing and a curse.

Being the only boy caused me my fair share of difficulties. One day when I was 12, the neighborhood bully was roughing me up. I didn't have a brother to teach me to fight; my sisters taught me. I looked him dead in the eye and said, "You are soooooo immature! Get a life!"

I suffered numerous other indignities. My father, the Big Guy, always looking to stretch a buck, made me wear hand-me-downs. It wasn't too bad most of the year, but Easter Sunday was painful. It wasn't easy trying to outrun the bully with my pantyhose bunching up on me and my bonnet flopping in the wind.

The Big Guy had it worse than I did. Until we added onto the house in 1974, we had only one full bath. The Big Guy never could get in there. He spent much of his adult life sitting on the edge of his bed in his skivvies and robe waiting for one of my sisters to come out.

As soon as he heard the bathroom door open, he'd race down the hall — only to hear it slam shut again, another of my sisters locking herself inside for 30 minutes or more, until the process would repeat itself.

The Purcell house was a place of great drama over the years. This is the natural course when so many people live together under one roof — and when the males are heavily outnumbered by the females.

"For goodness' sakes, Betty," the Big Guy often complained to Mother after saying something that caused one of his teen daughters to erupt, "if I have one more door slammed in my face ..."

But just as often, we'd sit around the dinner table laughing our heads off, sharing stories about something one of us had done. I was a frequent target of the laughter. The girls loved to tell stories about their stinky, sweaty, mud-caked brother.

It's amazing to me that I'm 44 already and that my sisters are between 49 and 34. But when we get together, we laugh long and hard about the thousands of experiences we shared growing up.

We laugh because it's clear now how much we were loved and how all of us helped shape each other — our sense of humor, our values, our hopeful outlook. It's no wonder that our positive experiences are the reason we're all doing well in life now.

One of the great tragedies of our time is that so few people are experiencing family life as my sisters and I got to. Fewer kids have brothers and sisters to enjoy, and what good is childhood if you can't get on the nerves of your siblings?

What's worse is that fewer adults are enjoying the blessings my parents knew so well. A recent report from the National Marriage Project found that more Americans are postponing marriage and having fewer children. One of America's fastest-growing demographics is that of single adults living alone.

I never met anybody who wished he or she had fewer brothers and sisters. And I know too many people in their 30s and 40s, particularly in progressive metro areas, who dream of marrying and having a family, but have no idea how to make it happen. I'm as guilty as anyone.

All I know is that in the history of humankind, nothing has been more beneficial to society and its members than the traditional family. We're social animals, after all. We need each other. Sure, things can get unpleasant when many people live under one roof, but such agitations helped me become resourceful.

When my sisters began causing me too much grief, I made use of a highly effective strategy to make them back off.

I threatened to use their toothbrushes.

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© 2006, Tom Purcell