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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 April 23, 2013/ 13 Iyar, 5773

Of damnation, and staring back

By Christine M. Flowers

Christine M. Flowers


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) "We must probe to the bottom of our collective wound. As men, as Americans, we can no longer cringe away and lie. Are we not all warmed by the same sun, frozen by the same cold, shone on by the same lights of time and terror here in America? Yes, and if we do not look and see it, we shall all be damned together." — Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again"

Last Monday felt like damnation. Again, someone attacked the core of us, sending the cruel message that years may pass and memories fade, but evil is eternal. It is also random and greedy, ripping through a brilliant spring day to claim unwitting and undeserving victims. First we are shocked, although after 9/11 and Newtown, not as much. Then we are angered, vowing to hunt down the inhuman beings who make incoherent statements with the blood of innocents. And through it all, through tears, we see the smiling face of an eight year old little boy and think that this time was the one that finally breaks the spirit.

But then, like all the times before, we roll up our sleeves, take a deep breath and stare back, defiant.

We did it in New York a decade ago when the unthinkable flew out of the skies and shattered our sense of normalcy. We did it, more slowly, last December when a well-armed lunatic turned a schoolhouse into a battlefield. And we will do it now, with Boston and for Boston. We will set aside any superficial rivalries and stretch our hands out to those fellow Americans and sibling city-dwellers who share our hopes.

This is who we are. We are the marathoners who keep pushing our exhausted bodies and run to hospitals to give blood, with miles to go before we sleep. We are the father who, having lost two of his own sons to tragedy, jumps across a safety barricade to render triage to someone else's. We are the first responders, civilians and professionals, who rush toward the violence and the smoke to carry our stunned brothers and sisters to safety. We are the doctors trying against all odds to save limbs and lives and foregoing sleep. We are the ones who refuse to point fingers at Muslims or right and left wing radicals before having all of the facts, mindful of the danger of making enemies of fellow Americans.

It may not be easy to look on the better side of things, given the eulogies that will have to be said for innocent bystanders, given the prospect of five-year old amputees, given the knowledge that we are still so capable of being surprised and humbled. But it is possible, and it is necessary, and it is inevitable for people like us.

This week, I accompanied a client to her asylum hearing in Lyndhurst, N.J. "Mariam" is from Mali, a country that has recently become embroiled in a civil war and for much of its 53 years of independence has treated women like chattel. Mariam is a victim of female genital mutilation, which is a type of violence that few American women have ever faced. It is precisely because Mariam's American daughter would be threatened with that medical torture if her mother is deported that we filed for asylum. We still don't know the outcome of the case, and we hope for understanding and a letter that says "welcome."

But talking to Mariam on the drive to Lyndhurst, I learned yet another reason why the massacre in Boston failed in its intended goal. The bombers wanted to crush us, make us feel their anonymous power to threaten and to maim. They wanted to make us feel as if these principles we cherish and the strength with which we defend them are irrelevant. They wanted to make us regret our open society.

But Mariam said something that will remain with me every time I hear some depressed and defeated American say we have reached the end stages of civilization. Mariam said that living in this country, even at its margins, is more comforting and secure than living in a country like Mali which doesn't even pretend to value freedom and the intrinsic value of each human being regardless of color, religion or in her case, gender. As Mariam noted, "you in America are not perfect, but you move toward perfection. Where I come from, people don't even bother to try."

Something horrible happened to us last Monday. We did not deserve it, and we were unable to avoid it this time. But we are not changed by this act of terror. If anything, it has simply confirmed that evil exists, but that it will always be met by exceptional, courageous and resilient Americans. Thomas Wolfe's fears are unfounded. Far from damned, we are blessed.

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

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Previously:



04/15/13: Margaret Thatcher changed the world, and didnít have to be a feminist to do it
04/08/13: Taking great pleasure in the death penalty
04/01/13: An easy prediction --- bet on the unpredictable
03/26/13: 'The personal is political' is no reason to change
03/19/13: A word to the whines --- it was just some high jinks
03/11/13: The Great Race Debate, revisited
03/04/13: Marriage goes beyond love
02/19/13: 2 women, and what they're fighting for
02/04/13: Sadly, Scouting seems poised to give up the fight
01/15/13: Reflections from Gettysburg
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.

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