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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 Feb. 27, 2006 / 29 Shevat, 5766

Between a telephone call and tragedy

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I hate telephones.


Yes, they're indispensable tools of communication, but I hate them for the tension of that moment between the ring and the answer, that instant of apprehension before you know what the call will bring. It is a fraction of time when all nightmares seem possible.


I trace the feeling to an awful night 13 years ago when the telephone yanked us up out of sleep to the news that my wife's brother had been murdered 3,000 miles away. Ever since then, I've been this way. Intellectually, I know that a telephone brings tragedy only once in a thousand rings. But those seconds when you just don't know, when it could be anything, still call the hairs on my neck to attention.


So Tuesday afternoon, the phone rings. I pick it up and hear my daughter's voice. Her tone seems normal and I breathe easy. I figure she's going to hit me up for money, tell me we're out of milk. Then I hear her say, "Eric got hit by a car."


And suddenly, I am hurtling. Out of the office. To the parking lot. Down the highway. Eric is my grandson. He is 10.


I hate Eric.


This occurs to me as I am driving. I hate Eric and all my children and my wife and everyone else I love for how much I love them and for how love inevitably brings pain. They get hurt, they get sick, but it might as well be me for all the fear that stabs my heart. To love somebody is to make yourself hostage to the fortunes of others. It is to give a hundred people veto power over your happiness. Sometimes I think the smartest way to live is without affiliation — no family, no friends, no children, no spouse, no pet, no nobody who can hurt you.


You might say it's a pathetic man who goes through life neither loving nor loved. Most days I would agree. But there are days it doesn't sound like a bad deal. Days like this.


So here's what happened: Eric was trying to cross the street. Going to a friend's house to play video games. He looked both ways — twice, just like we taught him. When he was halfway across, he saw a car, an SUV, coming around the bend. Instead of continuing safely across, he tried to make it back to the curb.


The car hit him. He smacked the hood hard enough to leave a dent. A shoe flew one way, a video game another. My wife saw it happen. She ran to him. He was writhing in the street, crying. He kept saying, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."


I am sitting beside his gurney in the emergency room as these words are written. The doctor has been in. His diagnosis: two lumps on the head and two skinned knees.


Let's repeat that to make sure you got it. The boy gets hit. By an SUV. He bounces off the hood. And he winds up with lumps and skinned knees. I am reminded of the refrain from a gospel song I've always loved. It says, "There must be a G-d somewhere."


There must be. And obviously, He was in a forgiving mood this day.


Eric is more voluble than usual. He says Spider-Man would have dodged the car. He says that like Wolverine, his "healing factor" kept him from serious injury. He says he is glad to be alive.


I keep thinking how all the uncertainty of life can be summed up in the ringing of a telephone. But it comes with the territory, doesn't it? Uncertainty, I mean. You just never know. Life is a dance on the highwire above mortality. It unfolds in the shadow of tragedies past and tragedies yet to come. There's nothing you can do about it except use the time in between to laugh, sing, hug, read comic books with your grandkid as often as you can.


And try to forget that you are a wisp in a wind. I hate that, too, but what are you going to do?


Eric is still chattering away, all nervous energy. He complains that I forgot to pay his allowance. He wants to go to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. And he says, he keeps saying, that he is glad to be alive.


I know just how he feels.

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© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by TMS

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