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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. 22, 2007 / 3 Shevat, 5767

How young — or how old — is 11?

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Eleven years old.


I was in the fifth grade. I wore black sneakers. I rode a Sting-Ray bicycle. I climbed trees with friends. I had never kissed a girl. I ate Cocoa Puffs for breakfast. That summer I went to sleepaway camp and a man landed on the moon. When I got home, I built a plastic model of Apollo 11 and kept it in my bedroom.


Eleven years old. I have been thinking about how young that is, in light of arguments last week over how old it is.


The first case concerned a boy named Shawn Hornbeck. When he was 11, he was kidnapped in Missouri. For four years, his parents, relatives, neighbors and authorities searched for him and prayed for him.


Then, 10 days ago, Shawn and another young boy were found in the apartment of a 41-year-old man, who has since been charged with first-degree kidnapping. The man lived only 50 miles from where Shawn had gone missing. He reportedly had been passing Shawn off as his son. The boy had been seen by neighbors riding his bicycle, playing with friends, seeming, they said, pretty normal.


When Shawn, now 15, was returned to his rightful family, they both cried tears of joy. His mother, on TV, called it "a miracle."


But soon after, the questions arose: Why didn't the boy speak up sooner? Why didn't he try to escape? Why didn't he make a phone call — since he supposedly had access to phones? Why didn't he just, at some point, walk away?


After all, he was 11 when he was taken. That's old enough to know better, isn't it?


At the same time Shawn Hornbeck was in the news, so was Nathaniel Abraham. He also made headlines when he was 11. Abraham was that age when fired a .22-caliber shotgun and killed Ronnie Greene Jr., 18, outside a Pontiac, Mich., convenience store. Abraham, at the time, said he was firing at trees. Nonetheless, he became the youngest person convicted of murder in the United States. He was convicted as an adult, but sentenced as a juvenile, meaning he could be held only until his 21st birthday.


He turned 21 last week.


He was released.


And old questions were heard anew. Why was Nathaniel Abraham tried as a juvenile? He was 11, wasn't he? He knew right from wrong, didn't he? He'd had a rap sheet of minor scuffles with the law, didn't he? How could he be considered a child when he so cold-bloodedly murdered a man?


Ronnie Greene's sister, Nichole Edwards, spoke to me about Abraham's release.


"I don't feel that he has been rehabilitated," she said. "... When he got sentenced, I felt he should have got the blended sentence" — adult and juvenile — "so today, instead of setting him free ... a judge would have looked back and seen if he'd progressed any. ...


"My brother was only 18. He didn't have a chance. Look at what" Abraham's family "is gaining today. We have nothing to look forward to. The only thing I can do is go the cemetery and look down on my brother's plot."


So how old — or how young — is age 11? In the Hornbeck case, was he old enough to have taken action? Many claim that once a child is abducted, he can be frightened, forced or even brainwashed into silence. It is hard to know, they say, how a developing mind absorbs such a horrific situation.


The same case is made by those who feel Nathaniel Abraham was too young to fully comprehend the consequences of his actions. An 11-year-old may know a gun can kill, he may know killing is bad, but he may not fully comprehend how he becomes a murderer by pulling the trigger.


Personally? Part of me wants to side with those who say, come on, who's kidding who here? By 11, you know not to be firing guns — at trees or anything else — and by 11 you know, if you are abducted, that if you have enough freedom to ride a bike or play unsupervised, you have enough freedom to make a collect call home.


But then I remember the year I turned 11. I remember playing in tree houses and having a high, squeaky voice. I remember, occasionally, still watching cartoons on TV.


And maybe because I must use the word "remember," I have forgotten how young 11 really is.

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