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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 January 25, 2010 / 10 Shevat 5770

Choosing life, despite the fear

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Run a Web search on "anencephaly" and you'll get all varieties of cold, clinical Web sites. "Anencephaly is the absence of a large part of the brain and the skull." It "is a cephalic disorder that results from a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close."


Add "choices" to your search and you will come upon an unwelcoming site, "The Heartbreaking Choice," "for parents who have made the decision to end a pregnancy due to severe or lethal birth defects." It's not a Web site for "support" if you haven't yet decided to end your pregnancy. It makes that clear. It's for "grieving."


As a counterpoint, Monica Rafie established the Web site Benotafraid.net. If you are a scared parent who has just returned from hearing a doctor's bad news about your unborn child, Rafie wants you to have alternatives. She wants you to know that other parents have been at the same point as you, and that if your doctor won't support you, she'll help you find a new one. Rafie has been there herself. She and her husband were told that their daughter would be "incompatible with life." Today that child is a "vibrant" second-grader preparing for her first Communion. It took "grace and a series of surgeries" but her daughter is alive at 8 years old, quite compatible with life and a blessing to her family.


A mother named Colleen writes on Rafie's site of the fear she faced, after receiving a distressing diagnosis for her unborn child: "I spent most of the next day in bed. I would cry awhile, then go to the computer to do a little research, then crawl back in bed and cry some more at all the scary stories and images I'd seen." Colleen didn't give in, and she now has a lovely son: "I can't even put into words how much joy Nate brings into my life. He amazes me daily with what he can do." Rafie, a 40-year-old mother of five, works on her site in her spare time. Since 2002, it has served as a "network of concerned parents, professionals, and laypersons who have experienced and/or worked closely with issues surrounding poor prenatal diagnoses." It's where "families share how they worked through the same conversation."

Letter from JWR publisher


Rafie believes "there is a shift that is becoming more palpable," in how the country thinks about issues of life. She says that when former Alaska governor Sarah Palin walked onto the national political scene during the 2008 presidential election, "it was Trig Palin many of us were excited about." Palin's son, who has Down syndrome, "galvanized" families that live with the condition.


Rafie's comments align with what Palin writes in her book "Going Rogue." Of one rally in Pensacola, Fla., she writes: "Up in the stands, I spotted a group of 15 kids with Down syndrome wearing shirts that said, WE LOVE TRIG! and TRIG IN THE WHITE HOUSE. I thought, Wow! How great that these precious people have someone associated with a national campaign that they can identify with…"


It was a cultural moment that kept replicating. The Christian nonprofit group Focus on the Family plans to run a controversial ad during the Super Bowl next month; it stars former University of Florida football phenom Tim Tebow, and tells the story of how doctors advised Tebow's ailing mother to end her pregnancy. Thankfully, she didn't listen.


Of course, choosing life does not guarantee a long life — the story won't always end with a happy second-grader or football star. But, as Rafie counsels: "The baby who could die anyway has the same dignity as any other baby."


Rafie knows that her humble site can only save so many lives, can only help so many moms and dads. "The time has come to engage the culture," she says. In politics, during the Super Bowl, even during primetime dramas, that engagement is happening. Like Rafie, people everywhere are working hard, helping to turn a heartbreaking choice into a viable option.

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