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 Jan. 4, 2006 / 4 Teves, 5766

From one human to another

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As I opened my year-end e-mail, I was greeted with a letter that caught my attention — and my breath. So rare, it was. So simple, and so stunningly disarming.

It was an apology from a reader, who wrote:

"In going through my 'out' file the other day I came across an e-mail I sent you concerning something or other that I was obviously exercised over. I said to you, 'I used to think you were worth reading, etc., etc.' That was uncalled for and rude. I apologize."

I quickly wrote back: "What a nice way to begin the new near. Apology accepted. Thank you."

Few are the apologies I receive or extend, and the launch of a new year seems a good time to correct that oversight. But first a few observations about the nature of offense and the value of making amends.

I'm not sure how we became so rough or why, as a nation, we decided that manners don't matter. I'm not lecturing here. As with most of my columns, I'm really talking to myself. The fact that others read and react to my thoughts will always be a source of wonder to me.

When you sit alone in a room with a keyboard and think aloud, as it were, it is never with the idea of an audience. At least not for me. The thought of actual readers probably would render me wordless, a result many doubtless would applaud. Wait, I have their e-mail addresses right here!

Despite my newspaper affiliation, I've worked essentially alone the past 20 years, mostly from home (a pajamahadeen in the pre-blog era), tweaking the culture based on decades of reporting, experience and observation. For reasons that continue to baffle as well as humble, I've been granted a forum over time by readers who still take newspapers with their morning coffee. Bless their hearts.

Of all my mistakes through my years, the ones I regret most were errors of judgment and civility more than matters of fact, which are more easily corrected. As H.L. Mencken put it (and as JWR's Paul Greenberg recently reminded us in his lovely New Year's column): "Anyone can be accurate and even profound, but it is damned hard work to make criticism charming."

The temptation of clever cruelty is seductive. Oh, that turn of phrase that makes you slap your own thigh in delight. La Perp, at times, c'est moi.

But the arena calls for it, no? The masses want sangre! Or do they?

In searching for an answer, it is helpful to be on the receiving end of invective. Nothing like a taste of one's own blood to resurrect interest in the Golden Rule. It is equally bracing to be treated with respect, if only to recognize how rare it is and how little most of us contribute to the cause of civility. Charming criticism is, indeed, art.

If one were to plot the decline of civility in discourse, I suspect the parallel line would represent technology, especially the Internet, e-mail and the blogosphere — all too fast, too easy and too anonymous. E-mail, most of all, is fraught with the potential for imminent regret. "Do not drink and send" should be the sticky note attached to many home computers. As a rule, I delete hate mail as soon as I recognize it in order to thwart my own reflexive tendency to lash back. Sometimes nature wins:

"Oh yeah? Well, you and your cocker spaniel, too!"

When I'm occasionally smarter, and return fire with butter instead of the always-tempting bunker buster, voila, the most amazing thing happens. Humanity returns to the ecosystem. Invariably, the person who wrote to assert my canine ancestry or to impugn my husband's masculinity is suddenly Aunt Bee extending a warm apple pie. No longer hostile, she offers gratitude for the response and apologizes for the nasty missive.

Not because she doesn't still disagree with whatever I wrote that initially set her off — or because I'm so dadgum adorable — but because we're no longer anonymous. We're just people — fellow and fallible human beings tangled in the same sticky web we call Life — while Technos is revealed as the cold-blooded provocateur he is.

In which spirit, and in gratitude to the e-mailer who went first, I'd like to begin the new year with an apology to those whom I've offended or hurt with careless words or poor judgment. I'm s-, sss-, soh (I must be a guy, this is so hard) ((That's a joke.)) Sorry. I'm sorry. No, really. I am.

Onward, then, here's to health, prosperity — and greater civility — in the new year. And all you bloggers out there? I love you, man.


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