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 March 13, 2006 / 13 Adar, 5766

It's degenerated to this: Harassment at funerals

By Mitch Albom

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Funerals are different. Funerals are for private grieving. And, therefore, funerals, at times, should be off-limits.

Especially to a warped organization such as the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which goes around protesting at funerals, jeering and waving signs that say "G-d Hates You."

The folks from Westboro — 75 people in the congregation — have been doing this for years, especially if the dead had some homosexual connection.

But now they are focused on U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. Not gay soldiers. Any soldiers. They recently came to Michigan, to protest the funeral of a soldier from the Flint area. And they had plans, as this column went to press, to be in Flushing over the weekend for another soldier killed when his Humvee hit a land mine. He was 26, with a wife and daughter.

Here is how the Westboro people referred to him on their Web site: He died "from wounds the Lord his G-d inflicted upon him. ... (He) volunteered to serve a nation that hates G-d. ...What more evidence do you need to tell you he's in Hell?"

I spoke last week during a radio interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper, the church's attorney and the daughter of its pastor, the Rev. Fred Phelps.

"Our position," she told me, "is that this nation has sinned away her day of grace ... that the wrath of G-d is pouring out on this nation. ... You turn this country over to the fags, now your children are coming home in body bags."

When I asked why funerals, she said that roadside bombs in Iraq were "G-d's weapon of choice" and therefore her group must protest dead soldiers' funerals "to help you connect the dots."

Personally, I don't need help connecting the dots. It's a pretty straight line from hate to stupidity.

But it's a crooked path from rights to right. The protesters' rights to free speech — which, by the way, is part of what our soldiers fight and die for — don't supercede the right of a family to bury its child in peace.

So I am all for legislation that limits funeral protests to a certain time before or after the service. Personally, I would feel no loss if protesters were banned altogether from funerals. It would only be decent. But we've already seen decency swept away by the broom of free expression.

Now it's done in G-d's name.

Phelps-Roper told me "the bottom rung on the depravity chain is the people who ... say it's OK to be gay." When I asked her about President George W. Bush, she called him "a filthy pervert and a lying false prophet."

And when I said, "Surely, there must be better places to protest than funerals," she answered this way:

"You don't get to decide where the word of G-d is to be preached."

Apparently, only she does.

If you need me to explain how hateful and sick this woman's philosophy is, I can't help you. But even she can teach us a lesson. Many Christians, upon hearing about Westboro, rush forward to declare "all Christians don't feel this way." They claim this church actually is violating Christian basics.

Well, much of this is mirrored by Islam. When suicide bombers claim their murders are blessed by Allah, other Muslims race forth and insist "this is not the Muslim way."

They are frustrated by the perception.

Likewise, the more the Westboro people stalk soldiers' funerals, the more harm they do their religion. And the more backlash they create. Recently, a band of motorcyclists has begun rolling to the same funerals as the Westboro protesters, cheering for the soldiers to drown out the jeering.

Honestly, folks. At the moment that G-d is taking a soul back to grace, do you really think He wants to hear any of this?

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