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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 6, 2006 / 6 Adar, 5766

Symbols of our times

By Marc Gellman


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Scotty, Gilligan and Fife were TV characters who showed us the importance of doing our best. Farewell to the actors who portrayed them


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A friend I call The Flounder reminded me of the sorrowful fact that in the last nine months three television icons dear to me have, as we say in my line of work, passed to life eternal. They are James Doohan, who played Scotty on "Star Trek," Bob Denver who played Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island," and Don Knotts who played Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show." May G-d receive their souls into the world where everyone is a star and where every life is syndicated. Beyond the personal grief their passing has brought to their families and friends, I ask you to consider the characters they played as metaphors of our lives in these broken times.


Scotty represents all of us who are constantly asked to do the impossible and to meet unreasonable deadlines by bosses who just don't understand that you can't run engines at warp speed after Klingons have blasted the engine room. I think mainly of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan now and of how every day they are asked by well-meaning bosses to go out there and do a job that everyone knows is impossibly hard but most people know must still be done if Iraq is to be stabilized, so that the Middle East can be stabilized, so that the war on terror can be won. If that example is too politically incendiary for you, then perhaps you might think of the linemen who repair power lines in the winter during a storm, or think of single mothers raising kids with not enough money or help, or think of clergy folk trying to get people out of the malls and off the golf courses on the weekends and into church or synagogue on the Sabbath. So many people I know feel like Scotty and so few like Captain Kirk. So many of us say, "I canno give ya more power, captain. The engines are already overloaded!" And then ... we do.


Gilligan represents all of us who are congenitally happy despite our circumstances. The Howells (and occasionally Ginger) were the first to complain, but Gilligan was always happy. Even though they were marooned on an island which nevertheless seemed to provide them with new clothes and new sets every week, Gilligan's choice was always to see things in a positive and hopeful light. He was helpful without being obsequious, brave without being foolhardy and courteous without being slavish. He was also self-deprecating. His humor was always directed inward, and his optimism was the reason you knew that some day, when the network gods willed that it be so, they would be saved. Yes, he was a buffoon (actually more a schlemiel than a buffoon), but aren't we all? There are just so many times when we can cavil against the fates, and list the reasons for our victimhood, but in the end, being a fool for hope is far preferable than being a cynic for reality. Gilligan had no desire for promotion and this makes sense to me now. A truly happy person is already at the highest rung.


Don Knotts as Deputy Fife personified the klutz who is convinced that despite everything he is destined for bigger things. Deputy Fife was all bluster with just one bullet, and that is just like many of us. The bullet is self-confidence. Do you remember when geeks were ridiculed? Now they run the world and the reason is that they are clueless about criticism and focused only on the road ahead. Many of us feel or have felt an absolute identity with Deputy Fife, who was clearly in over his head, but in time he and we have come to learn that those who are not prepared to fail and be laughed at, can never prepare to succeed (I read that in a self-help book). Anyway, when I came to my synagogue I only had one bullet in my gun. If I could not serve G-d through them, I would leave and maybe sell something for a nickel more than I paid for it. I never had to fire the bullet, because the Psalmist was right when he said that G-d protects children and fools.


Dear G-d, please protect the souls of James, Robert and Donald, and please protect the Scottys, Gilligans and Fifes down here who are all just trying to do their best with what they have for You.

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Marc Gellman holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Northwestern University. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, New York. A columnist for Newsweek, he is a past President of the New York Board of Rabbis.

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