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 May 7, 2012/ 15 Iyar, 5772

Moral duties in a muddied world

By Kathryn Lopez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Vatican City -- In an election season in which the White House has instituted a policy that puts unprecedented limits on the constitutional right to freedom of religion, questions of conscience, duty and spiritual and moral obligation are of critical importance.

A conference at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences had some related thoughts and warnings. The Vatican think tank was founded in 1994 and is meant to facilitate a continuing dialogue between faith and reason, between the social sciences and the social thought of the Church.

To an American sitting in on the conference, some of its sessions amounted to a warning siren.

"A religion of the absence of G0d is currently destroying and demoralizing the West," warned Pierre Manent, a professor of the Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron, describing a world that has little tolerance for religious views it considers merely as outmoded obstacles. "This is not simply a fashion or opinion trend; it is a genuine large-scale project for governing the world through international rules and institutions, so that nations, losing their character as sovereign political bodies, are henceforth only 'regions' of a world en route to globalization."

His sounding of the alarm came at the same time as a full-scale examination of budgetary matters began to get under way in the United States. Republican House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan has engaged in a debate over "social justice" that has long been a wholly owned subsidiary of the left.

This is important and relevant because we do live in a country that has long safeguarded religious freedom, believing it to be a central part of a healthy democracy and just society. But current government policy suggests something else. The Obama administration has demonstrated a marked hostility to the free exercise of religion in the public square.

"Pacem in Terris," the 1963 papal encyclical that the Vatican City conference evoked, was concerned with world peace. But it recognizes that at the heart of any such endeavor is peace within our hearts: reconciliation about who we are and how we conduct ourselves in the world.

"There is no more powerful source of moral development for everyone than concern for the common good," Manent explains. But Manent goes on to stress that this concern cannot be legislated from above, cannot be transformed into a rigid set of rules delivered by government fiat -- instead it has to spring from the "enlarging of our being," an inward process that moves outward, but needs unfettered freedom in which to manifest.

"If we keep growing government in debt, we will crowd out the civil society -- those charities, those churches, those institutions in our local communities that do the most to actually have a human touch to help people in need," Paul Ryan recently said, in defense of his budget. "That's what we want to empower. That's what we want to improve on."

In an even larger sense, Manent agrees. "The deployment of the human virtues," he said, will take "a unified action regarding the members for which we feel ourselves responsible. ... If we lose that, we will have nothing left to orient ourselves by but a general idea of humanity, which will be powerless to draw us away from the passivity of private life."

Making these decisions, these moral priorities, requires what Manent calls "a serious effort of discernment." As we enter election season, serious moral discernments should be made before we vote: how we should live, what we should be required to do. Keeping the human person at the center of our civic acts is an important part of keeping our freedom intact. Will we heed the warnings?

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