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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 June 23, 2005 / 16 Sivan, 5765

Symbol of strength

By Abe Novick


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On punks and pride


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Star of David stitched on the boxer Max Baer's fight trunks in the film Cinderella Man tore by so fast I barely saw it.


Yet the controversy provoked by this tough Jew (a heavyweight champion in the 1930s and actually only one-quarter Jew  —  enough for Hitler) who once beat Nazi Germany's Max Schmeling in 1933, is due to the fact that he's wrongly portrayed as a loudmouthed, murderous lout. Apparently, he was nothing of the sort and a decent guy, but was re-tailored in order to suit the Cinderella Man's image as sympathetic, rags-to-riches, comeback kid.


To smear Baer's reputation is a shame. Especially when so many Jews of today are completely unaware that there were ever Jewish boxers, let alone, a gifted heavyweight.


In fact, Jews occupied a prominent role in boxing, especially during the 20s and 30s.


In the Introduction to his book, When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport, Allen Bodner informs, "Jews entered the ranks of American boxing in large numbers and by 1928 were the dominant nationality in professional prizefighting, followed by the Italians and the Irish."


For kids today to see the sport dragged down by the ear-biting, convicted rapist Iron Mike takes away from the mystique that once was the sport. It's become a clown show sunken to the depths of pro-wrestling.


It wasn't always this way and I guess I was lucky to have gotten to watch the tail-end of its highpoint, when Ali would float and sting the streetfighter, Frazier and Howie Cosell would narrate so eloquently. There was still an art to it then, one that inspired this young Jewboy. Like so many bodybuilding ads in the back of comic books portrayed, I too didn't like getting sand kicked in my face.



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It's a familiar story. On the way to school there was a candy store. School was four blocks away. The candy store was three blocks and just shy of the elementary school. Across the street from the candy store was a family of rotten anti-Semites. There must have been at least 9 children. All of them blonde, skinny and more despicable than the next.


As a small child they chased me. One time they chased me and smashed Drake's Cakes on my head that I'd just bought. However, as I grew older, I got bigger and worked out. I became physically fit. Years later, walking the worn path from the candy store back to the neighborhood with a friend alongside, I came across the devil-like grin of one of them. It was a hot sunny day and he was pushing a lawnmower that his old man had him drag which smeared a resentful, embittered grimace on him.


This time, I said to him cockily, "What are you looking at?" He shoved aside his lawnmower by the busy street and went for my bait.


I was so ready to wallop this little punk. This coward who once bullied me, I knew I could've destroyed. This Jew-hater. Yet, it takes a lot to actually pummel someone. It takes more than muscles. It takes a certain streak and that was something I'd been taught was wrong.

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After a few swings by me, anyone of which could have severed his head, we went along our own separate ways. Standing up to him sent a strong signal though, and he was never again the bully he'd once been to me after that.


Years later, when I would wear the Star of David around my neck, it would provoke remarks  —  prejudice. Yet, I was so proud and thought it looked the epitome of cool. I was sure to get one that was just a little tarnished too, so it wasn't too pretty.


Never the fighter I'd read about, I understood that for some, the only way to earn respect was through strength. I know Cinderella Man is just a movie and in order to craft and Hollywoodize it, Baer had to take a hit. I just hope, with its mistaken portrayal and current controversy, it can gain enough publicity to spark today's youth to learn and understand the actual role Jews played in, what was once, a noble sport.


For those kids, like Baer, me and Israel, the star's a symbol of strength.

Every day JewishWorldReview.com publishes thought-provoking stories. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Abe Novick is senior vice president of Eisner Communications in Baltimore. Comment by clicking here.




© 2005, Abe Novick