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 Sept. 26, 2005 / 22 Elul, 5765

The Wrath of Mother Nature

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She's trying to kill us.

I speak of Mother Nature, an erratic creature whose origins can be found in Greek mythology. At her whim, this earth mother either nurtures us with plentiful harvests or destroys everything in our path, including us.

She's mighty creative in her choice of destruction. Over the years, she's given us droughts, pestilence and famine. Her plagues have wiped out half our population. She's just as likely to nurture little organisms — germs and viruses — as she is us. She used one of those bugs to take my grandfather in 1937 when he was only 34 years old.

She can be mighty temperamental, too. Every 40,000 years she freezes and kills everything on earth. Sometimes, for no particular reason, she warms things up.

She likes to shift the earth's plates now and then, causing massive quakes that knock over buildings and squash helpless creatures. Her December, 2004 quake caused a giant Tsunami to form in the Indian Ocean. The raging waters killed more than 300,000 people along thousands of miles of coastline.

She loves volcanic eruptions, too. She's still smiling over the 1980 Mt. Saint Helen's eruption, the most destructive volcanic blast in the history of the United States. She's toying with setting it loose again.

And, boy, does she love hurricanes. A hurricane is a powerful cyclone that forms in the tropics. Mother Nature uses them to move heat from the region near the Equator toward higher altitudes. She doesn't much care that her cyclones visit death and destruction on large human populations.

She hit us hard in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. She just whipped up some mighty winds with Hurricane Rita, too, but, thankfully, not so bad as she did in 1900, when she killed more than 8,000 people in Galveston, Texas.

Max Mayfield, director of the federal government's National Hurricane Center, told a Senate committee last Tuesday that he believes the Atlantic Ocean is in a cycle of increased hurricane activity. He said the recent increase parallels one that began in the 1940's before ending in the 1960's.

"It's like somebody threw a switch," he said. Yeah, and I know who that somebody is.

Mayfield said the increasing frequency and power of hurricanes is not the fault of human activity, but the result of a natural cycle that fluctuates every 25 to 40 years — one that fluctuates at the whim of one very powerful mother.

He said that in addition to the Gulf Coast, lots of other areas will be vulnerable to damage, including New York and New England, where the "Great Hurricane" touched down in 1938 causing massive damage.

And there's little we can do about most of it.

Sure, we can deploy the world's most sophisticated computer modeling to predict a hurricane's path, but we're less successful at gauging its intensity, rainfall distribution and surge in water levels.

Sure, we can develop detailed contingency plans. Local, state and federal government organizations clearly need to do better than they did in New Orleans.

But that's about all we can do. Outside of monitoring, preparing, evacuating and rebuilding, there's nothing we can to do stop Mother Nature when she decides to visit one of her tantrums on us.

We like to pretend we can. We like to pretend we have the means, technology and smarts to fend off every one of life's ills. When we fail, we immediately seek out somebody to blame.

Mother Nature laughs hard when we do that. She knows we're not really so advanced as we think we are — that where she is concerned, we're of no more concern to her than a tree or a bug or a microorganism.

That she's just as likely to bless us with a cool breeze on a summer night as she is to sweep our home and family into the sea. It's nothing personal and, when you put it all in perspective, it's nobody's fault.

It's just that Mother Nature is trying to kill us.

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© 2005, Tom Purcell