In this issue
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. 15, 2013/ 4 Shevat, 5773

Reflections from Gettysburg

By Christine M. Flowers

Christine M. Flowers

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) I went to Gettysburg over the weekend, for an embarrassing first time. I say "embarrassing" because, given the fact that I've spent a half century in Pennsylvania you would think I'd have taken the time to visit the most sacred and famous battleground in the entire nation.

I'd urge anyone who has yet to stand on that hallowed ground to make the trip, especially this year as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of both the battle and the Emancipation Proclamation. There is the sense, looking out over the now quiet fields, that while America was born at Valley Forge and Bunker Hill, the crucible of Gettysburg forged its conscience. As Lincoln said in an address that is at least as famous as the battle itself:

"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract."

Many of those who fought and lost their lives were slaves themselves, or the sons of slaves, eager to reclaim their own destinies at a time when an entire half of the nation was willing to sever the union to keep them in chains. They had the courage to fight for freedom, and they fought alongside of white men who took up that common battle.

It is wonderful when you can fight for your own rights. It is empowering to be the master of your own fate and, even in the face of death, announce to the world "I was here, I mattered." Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to make that stand, even though their rights are as legitimate according to the universal truths.

This year, in addition to marking the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, we also mark the sad anniversary of a court decision that is in many ways the antithesis of what was announced by Lincoln and guaranteed by the blood and struggle of our soldiers: the dignity of each human life. Forty years ago, seven Supreme Court justices declared that abortion was a "right," thereby reducing human life to a commodity that could be dissected into sterile, three-month packages and assigned varying levels of importance depending upon the whims and will of another party: the mother.

I had just turned 11 when the court announced Roe v. Wade. The ramifications of what happened on that cold January day in 1973 would not impress me until much later, after I had already accepted the fact that slavery was evil and Gettysburg was the high mark of our national identity.

The idea that the unborn child was also worthy of a similar battle didn't occur to me until I became old enough to hear in the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement the same callous arrogance that typified the conversation of slave holders. To the abortion rights advocates, who were savvy enough to kidnap the word "choice," a child is not a child until it is actually born.

Recently, on a radio show I hosted, a woman called in to say that the unborn being in the womb is nothing more than a "parasite," siphoning life and meaning from its mother. The abortion rights movement has coarsened our conception of humanity, and allowed us to start measuring the value of our brothers and sisters by how much they contribute to our own well-being.

That, I think, is what is truly sinister about the court's decision in Roe. Not only did those seven justices strip the developing and defenseless human of its inherent dignity, they started us down the road to treating all human life in a utilitarian manner. While we no longer look at people as less human based upon their skin color and origin, we are still engaged in battles that have no defined battlefield but are as critical to our national identity as Gettysburg.

Whereas before we would cringe in horror at the idea of allowing a person to starve to death as we did in the case of Terri Schiavo, that outcome is now more common and — in some cases — desired by a family and a society that considers the unproductive life a burden.

Whereas before children born with Downs Syndrome were allowed to bring unique joy to their parents and siblings, it is now the rare child with that condition who makes it out of the womb, thanks to technological efficiency and moral deficiency.

Whereas before we welcomed debate on issues like embryonic stem cell research, now it is taken on faith that people who oppose it are callous to suffering or as Michael Kinsley once wrote, aren't "morally serious."

Driving home from Gettysburg, I saw a billboard on the turnpike with this simple phrase from Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." You don't have to be religious to feel a trembling in your soul before those words. I'd wager many of those who fought at Gettysburg didn't think of G0D at the moment that they were charging across that bloody field.

They were fighting for freedom, and dignity. It is a universal goal for all humans, regardless of creed. And the battle continues.

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Comments by clicking here.

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01/02/13: The mentally ill vs. those who love them
12/27/12: Rapper learns he's just another guy on probation
12/20/12: Cold, hard truth about the killer
12/10/12: When a warm heart meets a cold manipulator
11/22/12: Some women don't know how good they have it

© 2013, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.