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)


Speak politics the Jewish way!

By Andrew Silow-Carroll

It's time for a new vocabulary. Here are a few phrases worth embracing

The dictionary site Merriam-Webster.com actually has advice for people who think they may have coined a word or phrase, or hope to. “If you feel that you have developed or know of a word that could serve to better the English language,” its editors write, “we can only suggest that you use the word as much as possible in your everyday discourse and see if it catches on….”

Okay then: “Kishkes Factor.” “Kishkes Factor.” “Kishkes Fact—”

Back in February 2008, I wrote a column suggesting that then-candidate Barack Obama was struggling to connect with Jews because they weren’t sure that he supported Israel’s cause in his gut — that is, in his kishkes. As far as I can tell, I was the first writer to apply the term “Kishkes Factor” in relation to politics and Israel.

It gained some currency. In November 2008, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk wrote an op-ed asking “whether Obama could pass the kishke test.” There were references to the “kishkes factor” in a March 2011 JTA story on Obama and a June 2011 report in The Jerusalem Post about a panel on the state of U.S.-Israel relations.

Obama himself even heard a reference to the term, at least once. In an interview with the candidate, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg began a question by referring to “the kishke question, the gut question: the idea that if Jews know that you love them, then you can say whatever you want about Israel, but if we don’t know you…then everything is suspect.”

Every so often a writer gives me props. Rob Eshman, editor of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, credited me in a “Dear Senator Obama” essay in March 2008. Last month, in an article about Obama and the Jews, Tablet’s Allison Hoffman linked the phrase to my original column.

Before this sounds as self-serving as it obviously is, I should acknowledge that there was provenance to the “Kishkes Factor.” As I noted at the time, a top official of AIPAC, referring to Newt Gingrich in 1998, remarked that the former speaker of the House “understood [Israel] in his kishkes.” And I recently learned that in a 1995 book, Jerome Chanes wrote of a “kishke factor,” referring not to politics but to how Jews experience anti-Semitism.

William Safire once wrote that the greatest thrill a writer can experience is “to coin a word or phrase that fills a linguistic void and becomes part of the history of the era.” His “Coinage Hall of Fame” included columnists Herbert Swope (cold war), Stewart Alsop (egghead), and Joseph Alsop (Southern strategy).


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I doubt “Kishkes Factor” will ever make it into their company, let alone the dictionary, but a boy can dream. And just in case, I am busy coining new phrases. A sampling:

The Gribines Factor: Named for the fried chicken-skin delicacy, it refers to a candidate’s ability to withstand criticism about his Middle East positions and foreign policy experience.

The Gefilte Filter: In many races, the support of Jewish Democratic donors is key to viability. If a candidate successfully runs the gauntlet of pro-Israel PACs and Hollywood fund-raisers, she has passed through the Gefilte Filter.

Cel-Ray Vision: A politician’s ability to look a constituent in the eye and instantly determine whether he or she is a Jew.

Serving Pastrami: A speech to a Jewish audience featuring the phrases “I will move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” “The bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable,” or “Iran will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons.” See “red meat.”

Stuffing the Derma: When a politician, in an attempt to ingratiate himself with the Jews, simply overdoes it. When Obama promised AIPAC an “undivided Jerusalem” in 2008, or Gingrich referred to Palestinians as “an invented people,” they were Stuffing the Derma. (Also known as “Varnishing the Kasha.”)

Rachmones Republican: Fiscally conservative, socially moderate Jewish member of the GOP. See: “compassionate conservative.”

Nu Democrat: Fiscally conservative, socially moderate Jewish member of the Democratic Party. See: “1992.”

The Borscht Beltway: Refers to the panoply of Washington-based Jewish and pro-Israel groups and their representatives, including AIPAC, JINSA, J Street, Religious Action Center, and the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs.

The Chootz-pah Test: How well does a politician — such as, say, Michele Bachmann — pronounce common Jewish or Yiddish phrases? E.g., if you pronounce kvetch with two or more syllables, or your mishpocha rhymes with “his broker,” you’ve failed the Chootz-pah Test.

Flanking: (Rhymes with “bonking.”) Not technically a political term, refers to a social media trend in which participants imitate a boiled flanken by lying stiffly in weird places and posting pictures of themselves on the Internet.

C’mon, Merriam-Webster! What else does a guy have to do to get a little credit?

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

© 2012, Andrew Silow-Carroll