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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 June 8, 2008 / 5 Sivan 5768

Apple of an uncle's eye

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The nephew asked the uncle if he would come to his high school graduation. The uncle said sure.


It was far away. Another country. But the nephew and the uncle always had been close. In fact, the nephew looked so much like the uncle, it astonished people. They used to mug in front of the mirror, the two of them, making the same face, the same squint, the same grin. It was like looking at old and young versions of the same face.


"He's really not my son," the uncle laughingly would tell people of his sister's child. "Believe me, that's not possible."


But as someone once observed, G-d's way of making sure you love your family is making you all look alike. So they were close, the nephew and the uncle. And the uncle would be there at graduation.


Oh, the nephew added, and could the uncle do the commencement speech?


Uh ... sure, the uncle said.


A commencement speech? Really? What did the uncle have to say to a group of high schoolers?


He thought. And he thought. And, as usual, he waited until the last minute, and wrote the speech on the plane overseas. His head was filled with grandiose themes, the world, its challenges, global responsibility.


But then he thought back to the day his nephew was born. He remembered the pudgy little ball of humanity. He remembered how the kid, in the early months, looked like Popeye, and how later he was covered in shaggy golden locks. He remembered this certain expression, as if the child were always on the brink of thrilling excitement, his mouth pursed, his eyes wide.


He remembered holding the child in his arms, and lifting him onto his shoulders, and bouncing a basketball with him, and playing pinball with him, and reading to him, always reading. He remembered the little one-man shows the nephew would put on in front of the family. He felt a tiny knot in his stomach for how quickly the years had flown by, and how the newborn was now 18 years old.


And pretty soon the uncle forgot about global themes. He wrote a commencement speech as if he were talking to one special kid in the long row of caps and gowns.


And, in truth, he was.


When the ceremony came, the uncle wore a suit, and he sat on stage and stole a glimpse at his nephew, in the back row of the graduates on the stage. The nephew gave him a small nod.


And then the uncle stepped to the microphone, in front of parents and siblings and friends and teachers. He spoke to them all, but in his mind, he was speaking to the Popeye kid in the back row, who now towered over him by several inches.


He told him not to hurry through life. He told him not to feel like a failure if he hadn't sold a tech start-up by the time he was 25. He told to find a home, and to cherish that home, and not to think that neighbors were corny or staying put was boring.


He told him to take chances, that mistakes were OK. He told him to find love. That was the most important thing. And he told him to cherish his family.


He got a little choked up on that part.


And then he finished. And the audience clapped. And to his surprise, they asked him to hand out the diplomas as the kids walked across stage.


They say you can never feel for someone else's child the way you would your own, and maybe that's true and maybe it isn't. But when the nephew approached the uncle, with his face in a small and familiar smirk, the uncle did what those who know him would have expected.


He held the diploma high overhead, so the nephew had to jump for it.


And then I hugged that kid as hard as I've hugged anyone.


And I have never been prouder.

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