JWR Schticks and groans

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)


Don't know much about divinity . . .

By Andrew Silow-Carroll

The real knowledge you need to understand the Jews --- just kidding

First the good news: When it comes to knowledge of other world religions, Jews score highest on questions about all religions other than Christianity, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Here’s the bad news: According to the survey, “large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history, and leading figures of major faith traditions — including their own.”

For example, 45 percent of Catholics missed the question on the meaning of the Communion bread and wine, and about half of Protestants couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the inspiration of the Protestant Reformation. As for knowledge of other religions, only 47 percent of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist (apparently the survey did not ask, “Is the pope Catholic?”). Fewer than 8 percent of adults know that Maimonides was Jewish.

Of course, simple facts about beliefs and customs don’t tell you the whole story about any religious group. That’s what I’m here for. I can’t help my non-Jewish friends with knowledge of other religions, and if they want to know the basics of Judaism there are plenty of good sources out here. What I can help them with is a deeper understanding of Judaism and the Jewish people, and to answer the kinds of questions Pew should be asking:

Which is the least appetizing Jewish food?
• Gefilte fish
• Pickled herring
• Schav

Which of the following people do not show up in synagogue on Saturday mornings at the scheduled start time of 9 a.m.?
• The rabbi and the cantor
• The gentile bar mitzva guests
• Everyone else

What is the least common complaint heard in a synagogue?
• The rabbi’s sermon was too short
• There weren’t enough new melodies!
• They’re serving meat at Kiddush again?!

What is your favorite episode from the Bible?
• When everyone thought Moses was an Egyptian
• When Abraham bought his ancestors a burial place in Hebron
• When the Divine convinces Pharaoh to let His people go

What is your favorite episode from Seinfeld?
• When everyone thought Jerry was a Nazi
• When Jerry bought a van from “Fragile” Frankie Merman
• When Kramer convinces Jerry to get illegal cable

What is the significance of the number 18?
• In Hebrew numerology, it spells “chai,” or life
• It takes 18 minutes to bake a kosher matza
• In many states, it means a kid can drive the other kids to soccer practice

Which of these is not an actual Jewish custom?
• Swinging a live chicken to expiate one’s sins
• Shaking a citrus fruit to celebrate the harvest
• Aiming a firearm to obliterate a quadruped

Is it okay to do yoga if you’re Jewish?
• Yes, as long as the physical poses are isolated from the spiritual meditations
• No, except if it is being sponsored by Sisterhood
• Maybe, but please check with your chiropractor

Which of these important sayings is not from the Mishna?
• “Who is wise? One who learns from all.”
• “Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.”
• “Who is coming? And will we need to put the leaf in the table?”

There you go, my non-Jewish friends: The real knowledge you need to understand the Jews. As for the meaning of Communion, you’re on your own.

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JWR contributor Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News.

© 2010, Andrew Silow-Carroll