In this issue

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 July 20, 2006 / 24 Tamuz, 5766

The lazy man's way to see the wilderness

By Garrison Keillor

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | GLACIER BAY, Alaska — I am aboard a cruise ship gliding slowly between snow-capped mountains that remind me of the art my parents hung on our living room wall back in Minnesota in the Fifties. It was a large translucent picture of snow-capped mountains, lit by an electric bulb behind it, and when guests came we made sure to turn it on. We were all quite proud of it, and I guess it was considered inspirational, in the sense of "How can you look at this and say there is no G-d?" It occupied a place of prominence over the couch. Of course, to base one's faith on beautiful scenery is to leave oneself open to grave doubt if you should see Texas. Texas would make any man an atheist, unless he understood that G-d means to challenge us.

A cruise ship is the lazy man's way to see the wilderness. We are in the waters of the humpback and orca whales, in the habitat of brown bears and harbor seals, eagles soaring overhead, but we have hot showers and room service. I can stand on deck and breathe the chill salt air and gaze at a river of descending ice, pieces the size of a high-rise crashing into the sea, and I can also send e-mail and get the New York Times crossword fresh daily. And — just to illustrate the level of degradation — one can lie abed and watch the glaciers on TV. One could watch them and pick up the phone and order eggs Benedict. I don't do this myself, but one could.

A cruise ship is a floating town of lazing people, and Alaska is a popular summer destination. While Phoenix and Houston bake, and even Minnesota swelters, summer in Alaska is idyllic and spring-like. And luxury feels so luxurious in the wilderness. What is obscene to the hairy-legged hiker on the mountain path — the sight of a luxury liner in the bay below — is perversely pleasant to the folks aboard. The early settlers had to work desperately hard for the basic necessities, and that makes the filet mignon and the 1994 Barolo so extraordinary, and the comfy mattress, and the chaise on the balcony.

You lie there and imagine Captain Cook sailing this way in 1778 with his pockmarked, scurvy-ridden crew, and you tuck into your fruit compote and feel like a tycoon. John Muir canoed the Inside Passage, and here you are, sleeping your way north. Not bad. So every year a million people visit Alaska just this way, and so in August the voters of the state will decide whether to subject the cruise ships to closer regulation and impose a $50 admission fee for each passenger.

I'm in favor of the $50 head tax. I'm a Democrat after all, and taxes do not horrify us as they do others. Certain things government must do, such as monitor cruise ships that might empty tanks full of sewage into the fjords and sail away, leaving soapsuds and toilet paper and candy wrappers in their wake, and the ships' owners need a strong negative incentive not to do that. Government is good at providing negative incentives. The cruise tycoons don't live in Juneau or Ketchikan. The companies are international, as pirates are, and you must shout to get their attention.

A seven-day cruise has its lulls and its peaks. When we left Seattle, hundreds of passengers gathered on the after deck and sang "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the downtown towers slipped away. A rousing moment. On Sunday morning, a young Lutheran minister preached on the subject of G-d's grace which frees us from cravenness and the need to pander and curry favor, as we congregants looked out the windows at mountains slipping past, watching for humpbacks. In Juneau, some passengers went whale watching and saw a pod of sixteen whales and another pod of twelve and came back to the ship ecstatic, awestruck.

And now here is the ship dead in the water, alongside a massive, 300-foot-high, craggy fissured wall of ice a mile wide, the ice groaning, cracking, giving off low booms, and we passengers, in sunglasses, purple and blue and orange windbreakers, cameras around our necks, stand in a religious silence and watch time itself, a thousand years, moving slowly down the valley toward us. It's the wall of my parents' living room, and we are on a toy boat sailing along the carpet.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Garrison Keillorís "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.