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 June 1, 2007 / 15 Sivan, 5767

‘All about me’ weddings

By Betsy Hart

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The arrival of June means wedding season and that means flowers and elaborate dresses and ... choreographers?

Well yes, Jennifer Saranow writes in The Wall Street Journal.

In "The First Dance Spins Out of Control," Saranow recently wrote that ever more young couples, constantly seeking to one-up each other when it comes to what I call "all about me" weddings, are hiring choreographers to stage "over the top" first dances. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is a current favorite.

One couple at their recent wedding took places on opposite sides of the dance floor while the DJ got the lights and fog machine ready. Then they went into "the theatrical routine they'd been honing for weeks, performing lifts and turns and pantomiming the sometimes-vulgar lyrics ..."

"We were trying to make it our own little Vegas show," the groom told Saranow.


Not to be outdone, another bride required the wedding party's "five groomsmen and bridesmaids to attend four three-hour practices" for their part in the big show. When one of the groomsmen got sick and had to miss a rehearsal, Bridezilla would have none of it. She pulled in one of the understudies she had arranged for from her wedding guests to perform on the big day.

Double Ick— eee. (Isn't it enough torture to make the bridesmaids wear those ghastly gowns?)

Another wedding featured a surprise performance from the groom and groomsmen serenading the bride with a choreographed song from "The Little Mermaid" in frog and lobster costumes.

No comment.

Saranow writes that business is booming for wedding choreographers, largely because marrying couples "seem less hesitant to draw attention to themselves by staging dramatic cake entrances, hiring photographers to trail them like paparazzi or posting videos of their elaborate dance routines on YouTube."

Saranow doesn't discuss another "all about me" trend in weddings, in which it is estimated some 30 percent of couples now stage dramatic destination weddings asking friends and family to travel on their own dime to expensive and exotic locales to witness their nuptials. Maybe they can get a discount for choreography at a destination wedding.

Letitia Baldrige, a manners maven and woman after my own heart, told Saranow that "brides and grooms who make spectacles of themselves on the dance floors show 'a total lack of judgment. ... We're in a culture of show-offs,' " she lamented.

Now I suppose that many folks would argue a couple should be able to show off at their own wedding. But that's the problem — we really do consider weddings and marriages to be all about and only about the two people involved. The growing popularity of "Vegas shows" at these nuptials may only be a symptom of a larger problem: "All about me" marriages.

Rather, a wedding should really honor the couple and their commitment to the larger community and to G-d. When a marriage is "all about me" or even "us," that's a recipe for disaster. Marriage is about connecting to something much bigger than any two people; it's about connecting to the very fabric of a civilized society and understanding it's not "all about me" and what a relief that can be! It's about giving our spouse the freedom to fail, and loving him anyway and growing in character in the process and being loved in turn when we fail.

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once beautifully wrote that marriage is ultimately not about making us happy in the moment, it's about making us holy over time. (And how often the latter leads to the former.)

OK, maybe I'm reading way too much into tacky young people staging elaborate dance productions and other "look at me" trends in weddings. But just in case, I've told my best friends that if I if get married again and in a moment of weakness start talking about choreographers or any other such nonsense for the wedding, they are to stage an immediate "intervention" on my behalf.

I think some young couples like the ones Saranow describes need better friends.

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