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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 March 8, 2006 / 8 Adar, 5766

Dana and her Knight

By Jay D. Homnick


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Oh Dana girl, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountain side

The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying

'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.


The Talmud (Kesubos 103a) reports the last words of Rabbi Judah the Prince, who had used his wealth and scholarship to compile the Mishna, a written format of basic Jewish law. He said: "Joseph of Haifa and Simon of Efrat assisted me in my lifetime and they will assist me after death." Within seven days of his passing, the two men whom he had named, his most trusted helpers, also passed on. An astonishing idea this, that loyal attachments founded here might be reified into an eternal link between souls. So much so that one cannot long linger here without the other.


If ever we saw an instance where this notion seems almost tangible, it is the case of Dana Reeve, who shuffled off this mortal coil today, at the peak of her youth and beauty. It could hardly be that her body could not sustain the weight of her forty-four years: rather that she had forged a bond with her husband, Christopher Reeve, so profound that it was absurd for them to occupy separate worlds. Hollywood fulfills no more important function for society than inspiring people to love, but rarely have individual actors modeled such unswerving mutual fealty.


The story of Christopher and Dana Reeve features heroism aplenty. From the moment of his injury, when a dashing sportsman became a helpless invalid, his grit and her tirelessness merged into a great moral teaching for our generation. They used their situation as a springboard to help others in various meaningful ways, including a call for aggressive research into the relief of paralysis.


And now, eighteen months after his departure, she who assisted him in life has gone to assist him after death. Another image from the Talmud (Bava Batra 58a) comes inevitably to the fore. They tell of a scholar who had a vision in which he saw Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, and he asked Eliezer what Abraham was doing at that moment. The answer: "He is resting in Sarah's arms and she is gazing lovingly at his head." Somehow I feel that if we could see Christopher and Dana now, the scene might be much the same.


But come ye back when summer's in the meadow

Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow

'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow

Oh Dana girl, oh Dana girl, I love you so.


Ours is an era so abloom with opportunity that constancy becomes ever more elusive. We flit from flower to flower like little bees, forgetting that the ultimate goal must be to fashion a creditable hive, to support each other in community and to produce a sweet legacy for the ages. Emerson sniped that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds", yet we need more consistency to bolster the health of our society, but it is hobbled by all our gobbling.


Dana Reeve lived the celebrity life, where people can only appear outdoors in full performance mode, prettified and primped and preening, what Irwin Shaw called "polished fruit". Then she was thrust from the limelight into the harsh spotlight, where there is no down time, no dressing room, no backstage. Every minute of every day you have to be on, and if you're not for real the folks will spot it in a flash. She showed us solidity beyond compare, throughout her husband's infirmity and her own illness.


One more thought from the Jewish tradition, this from the Jerusalem Talmud. They tell of Rabbi Boon, a great scholar who died at age twenty-eight. At his funeral, they reckoned that he had studied as much as most men who live to a hundred. (For example, if an average person studies two hours a day from age 16 to 100, he will have spent seven full years studying. A person could match that between age 16 and 28 by doing fourteen hours a day.)


It seems to me that this sort of calculus can be applied to compassion as well. Dana Reeve lived a full life of kindness; she just skipped the lighter parts. We can look to her in our fretful moments, when the importunities of life and the needs of others are especially taxing. Let us say of her what Paul Harvey said of a departed friend: "The next time you hear that gentle, loving voice, you will know that you're in Heaven."


And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me

And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be

If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jay D. Homnick is the author of many books and essays on Jewish political and religious affairs. Comment by clicking here.

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