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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 25, 2014 / 27 Sivan, 5774

Handwritten letters: File under 'obsolete'

By Ana Veciana-Suarez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the pleasures of life is walking to the edge of my front yard, opening the hinged jaw of the black metal mailbox, reaching into its cavernous mouth and retrieving the day's mail.

There's hardly ever anything worth my time, particularly in the 11 months preceding the December onslaught, when Christmas cards arrive bearing goodwill, glad tidings and photographs of people I love but don't see as often as I should. In the off-season, the more interesting stuff tends to be housewares catalogs -- oooh, window shopping from the comfort of my living room! -- or junk mail advertising cheap acreage in Tennessee. Rare is the bill that doesn't arrive in my electronic in-box instead.

Nonetheless I am forever willing to be surprised by what the postman brings. Too bad the surprise is so infrequent. I can't remember the last time I got a letter. Worse: I can't remember the last time I mailed one.

I run my life, both the professional and the personal, via email. Texts are essential to communicate with my grown children, and Skype and FaceTime are convenient substitutes for the cross-town or cross-country visit. Yet, call me old-fashioned, label me out of date, but I still believe nothing is as intimate, as uplifting, as refreshing, as a letter.

Though handwriting adds a personal flair that is much appreciated in a keyboard-dominated world, I'm not picky that way, mainly because I type much, much faster than I scribble. And frankly, legible handwriting is as uncommon as a downtown parking space.

I may have abandoned this old form of communication, but like many my age, particularly those of us infatuated with the written word, I was raised on the pithy postscript -- P.S. I always saved my best line for last -- and the "Dear So-and-So" salutation. For all its emoticons, email simply can't match that.

What was once an integral part of my life is now completely unfamiliar to the next generation. My youngest son, for example, was recently baffled by the necessity of a return address on an envelope. He had never had to post a letter or mail a bill that required paper, pen and postage.


Even as I've stopped writing them, I'm partial to letters in the same way some of us wax nostalgic about vinyl records, rotary telephones and metal lunchboxes. Retro is popular when you can be selective. In the case of letters, most of us associate at least one missive with a happy event.

I wrote my first book, chapter by chapter, in an epistolary flurry when I was in junior high school. We were then living thousands of miles away, in a South American country with no television and spotty long-distance phone service. The book, by the way, was embarrassingly terrible. I hope my cousin in Chicago tossed it out along with her electric curlers.

As a child, I also kept up occasional correspondence with another cousin who lived in my family's village in Catalonia, Spain, and over time we developed a long-distance relationship that endures to this day. Two of her children have stayed with us during their travels, and I've visited her several times. Alas, email is now our favored method of communication.

No matter. Later today, as the heat recedes and the summer light wanes, I will cross the expanse of lawn, forever hopeful. I will remember a line the inveterate letter-writer and poet Emily Dickinson penned to a friend: "A Letter is a Joy of Earth/ It is denied the Gods."

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Previously:


How did we all get by without all this stuff?

Ah, the freedom of summer

Work is less stressful than home

Let's not forget the play part of kindergarten

The food police keep giving us conflicting nutritional advice

Are Millennials moving us toward a post-racial society?

Times change, but the love of a grandparent is constant

Think before you dial, text, FaceTime, Skype, chat

Don't sacrifice too much at the altar of busyness

It's not about Gywneth Paltrow; it's about our insecurities and need to compare

Will you love me, granddaughter, when I'm (really, really) old?

We are failing to protect our children from abuse

The story of Marissa Alexander: When justice is blind, deaf and dumb

Why do women 'shop' in their friends' closets?

Mr. Smiley Testing My Patience

We're not forgetful, we just know too much

Why didn't I think of that? Another missed opportunity for invention

When being fair is really not, and other life lessons

Bridging the Generation Gap Has Gone Too Far


Ana Veciana-Suarez is a family columnist for The Miami Herald



© 2014, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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