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

Oh, That I May Believe!

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo

There is the only reason why man wants and is able to live and endure life. And it is this need that has become most urgent in modern times. Only when we will offer our young people a way to experience an ultimate calling will their souls be recaptured

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once, a young man approached a Jew in the street and told him that his synagogue needed a tenth man to make up a quorum for Mincha, the afternoon prayer. The man responded, "I am an apikores (heretic)!" To this the young man answered, "Since when does an apikores not have to pray mincha?"

Once, when Rebbe Noach of Lekhovitz (d.1834) was in his room, he heard one of his disciples beginning to recite Maimonides' Principles of Faith in the House of Study, next door. The student stopped immediately after the words "I believe with perfect faith," and whispered to himself, "I don't understand!" And then once more: "I don't understand!"

"What is it that you do not understand?" Rebbe Noach asked him.

"I don't understand what it is all about," said the man. "I say 'I believe'. If I really do believe, then how can I possibly sin? But if I really don't believe, why am I telling lies?"

"You do not understand," said the Rebbe. "The words 'I believe with perfect faith' are a prayer meaning ';Oh, that I may believe!' "

The chassid was then suffused with a glow within. "That is right," he cried. "That is right. Oh, that I may believe, Lord of the world, oh, that I may believe!"

We are living in one of the most difficult times in history. Since the days of emancipation, religion has come under constant attack from within and from without, and many have left the fold. This has had a devastating effect.

It is clear that there is a desperate need to turn the tide and bring our spiritual heritage back to our young people. This call comes not only from religious circles but even from some of the most secular Jews who realize that without proper Jewish education there is no hope for a Jewish future, neither in Israel nor in the Diaspora.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes "must-reading". Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Many have argued that belief in the Almighty and observance of rituals should no longer be central to Jewish education but should be replaced with cultural events and the study of Jewish history. These would serve as a means to encouraging Jewish identity and pride as well as cultivating a sense of belonging. This, they say, should go hand in hand with regular visits to Israel and an intensification of the Zionist enterprise.

Advocates of this proposal feel that belief in the Divine is no longer relevant in an age in which science has replaced religion, and Jewish observance no longer speaks to the majority of our young people. Therefore, these two factors do not serve as enough of an incentive to remain Jewish.

But this theory is highly problematic. To argue that belief in the Almighty is outdated is not only a gross misreading of the truth but also what people are in need of. When vital values become obsolete, and many are overwhelmed with every kind of pleasure and comfort, man feels increasingly like a stranger in his own skin. The overall picture is: Since he has nearly everything, he is nearly nothing. Much of man's life is surrounded with existential emptiness, and little to live for. It becomes clearer and clearer that personal meaning is hollow unless it relates to what is transpersonal; man, more and more, is looking for meaning that transcends the smaller objectives. A loyalty that is ultimate.

The question eventually becomes: Is there anything to die for? This is the only reason why man wants and is able to live and endure life. And it is this need that has become most urgent in modern times. Only when we will offer our young people a way to experience an ultimate calling will their souls be recaptured.

When we have a careful look at our world we realize that many false gods and ideologies are crumbling. Man is hungry for the voice of the Almighty because only that can make him feel that there is indeed something to die for. The problem is that this voice has been stifled, and there is an urgent need to recapture its echo.

What has caused great harm is that in nearly all religious circles the Divine is taken for granted and never contemplated. People fail to understand the difference between creed and faith.

But Jewish faith is not a dogma. It is neither an easy or secure achievement, nor an attitude acquired immediately for once and for all.

It takes an instant to trust an idol but ages to attach to the Almighty. It requires effort, stirring, and preparation. It means growing in prayer, in selfless deeds, and in the realization of the mystery of all existence. Faith means striving for faith. It is never an arrival. It is a constant journey and can only burst forth at single moments. In no way can it be commanded.

Faith is not born from logical deduction. It is born from doubt, which is its natural breeding ground. To believe that all doubts must be resolved before we attain faith is a mistaken notion. Abraham, Moses, the many prophets, and Job all lived with implacable perplexities many of which were never solved.

To have faith is to live with unresolved doubts, prepared to rise above ourselves and our wisdom. Looking into the Jewish tradition with its many debates, one gets a clear understanding that those who deny themselves the comfort of certainty are much more authentic than those who are sure.

The famous Chassidic sage Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk (1787-1859) was once told about a great rabbi who claimed that during the seven days of Succos (Tabernacles) his eyes would see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David enter his Sukkah. The Kotzker Rebbe responded: "I do not see the heavenly guests; I only have faith that they are present, and to have faith is greater than to see."

Faith means that we worship God before we affirm His existence. We praise before we are certain; we respond before we question. (See the famous hymn "Ein K'elo-henu" in the Jewish morning service)

The great art is to live a life of religious devotion before we are sure about what we believe. Man can die for something even while he is unsure of its true existence, because his inner faith tells him it is right to do so. This honest admission of doubt is not only the very reason why it is possible to be religious in modern times, but it is the actual stimulus to do so.

Young people look for a life of commitment without having to be certain or buy into dogmas. They want to take an existential risk, to be able to say: I am prepared to risk my life for something ultimate in which I believe.

To argue that Judaism would be better served by cultural events, social gatherings in Hillel houses, or even trips to Israel is to badly misread the existential situation of the Jewish people today. In the long run, these activities will simply add to the problem if they are not accompanied by a strong spiritual component.

Only an ultimate value can shape a fully committed soul. The question is not whether the Almighty exists, or whether the observance of rituals is divine. The question is: Do we realize that Jewish identity and Judaism is doomed to fail without the postulation that there is a G0d and an inner need to observe?

Our first concern must be to bring the Divine back into the lives of young people, to teach them that the ultimate call is to re-engage with their spiritual heritage, and to encourage them to take the risk and become religiously inclined even if they cannot be sure. Studying the beauty of Jewish ritual, with its rich colors, deep wisdom and healthy outlook on life, is enough of a compelling reason to commit oneself to its lifestyle whether or not one is convinced of its absolute truth. What needs to be understood is that life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises, and we can be absolutely certain only of things we do not fully understand.

To believe is not to prove, not to explain, but to accede to a vision. It is for that reason that even a heretic should pray.

Oh, that I may believe!

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

To comment, please click here.

JWR contributor Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and ambassador for Judaism, the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Sephardic Heritage.

© 2011, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo