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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 July 9, 2007 / 23 Tamuz, 5767

All quiet but the doleful pleas of a father who knows

By Rod Dreher


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have spent the last two weeks carrying around a chunk of bloody flesh. It is masquerading as a paperback novel called All Quiet on the Western Front, but in truth, it's the ravaged heart of a man who was a soldier once. If there is a work of literature more searing in its description of modern warfare's personal horrors, I have not read it and don't know that I could withstand it.


I started reading Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 novel — a perennial high school lit fave — for the sake of civic edification. You know the drill: Read a certified Great Book, participate in a book club discussion, and move on. What I did not expect was passages like this:


"We are not youth any longer. We don't want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war."


The narrator is Paul Baumer, a World War I German infantryman. Mr. Remarque, a veteran of that war, drew from his own excruciating experiences in writing this scalding narrative. To read All Quiet is to understand why World War I was the suicide of European civilization.


All Quiet is thought by many to be the greatest war novel because it tells the universal combat experience of the soldier: the sanity-crushing bombardments, the murder of ideals, the barbaric clawing for survival, the scorn for authority figures who don't suffer the consequences of their decisions, the alienation of fighting men from the people back home, who can't possibly understand what they endure, and so forth.


It's impossible to be released from the world of this novel and regard one's own responsibility as a citizen of a democracy for the current and future wars with equanimity.


So many of us never served in combat, yet we rallied uncritically to the call of those who valorized martial prowess, extolled American power, and spoke of killing and maiming — and the risk of being killed and maimed — using words like "cakewalk." Did you? I did. And now look.


Mr. Remarque emerged from his experience in the Great War as a self-described "militant pacifist." That's understandable but hard to defend. Pacifism did not stop the likes of Hitler and never will. As shattering as All Quiet is, the wretched truth remains that war we will always have with us. Because men are born to trouble, sometimes war is a necessary evil.


Ah, but on that one word — necessary — hangs the world. On it hangs countless ruined worlds: the world of every man who will die, and every man who will destroy another man, and every mother who will mourn for her lost son, every widow and every orphan, and every soldier who will come home defiled and broken, having left some part of his body, mind or soul on the battlefield.


As I read the final pages, I heard my 3-year-old stirring in his bedroom. I went to check on him and stood there regarding with wonderment the blond boy slumbering in the soft glow of the nightlight. I prayed hard for him and his brother to be spared war's desolation. As I will pray constantly for their Uncle Mike — faithful husband, devoted father and brave soldier — when he deploys to Iraq this month.


But you know, we've got to do more than pray. As C.S. Lewis put it, "A long face is not a moral disinfectant." Yet a still, small moment like the one by my boy's bedside, with Mr. Remarque's novel in my hand, speaks wisdom and conversion to the heart. Kentucky poet Wendell Berry has written:


There is no government so worthy as your son who fishes with you in silence beside the forest pool./ There is no national glory so comely as your daughter whose hands have learned a music and go their own way on the keys./ There is no national glory so comely as my daughter who dances and sings and is the brightness of my house./ There is no government so worthy as my son who laughs, as he comes up the path from the river in the evening, for joy.


Another writer, novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, recently told The Wall Street Journal: "I think that literature has the important effect of creating free, independent, critical citizens who cannot be manipulated." Just so.

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Rod Dreher is assistant editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News and author of the forthcoming "Crunchy Cons" (Crown Forum).

PREVIOUSLY

06/28/07: When we let conspiracy theory masquerade as news, we fall prey to much more than deception
06/20/07: Stranded on Delta: They may love to fly, but it certainly doesn't show
06/13/07: When did conservatism start to mean never having to say you're sorry?
05/08/07: PBS darling gets abused by PC police
05/02/07: Impervious to beauty and deadened to depravity
04/20/07: What I know about being a loner
10/28/05: How the conservatives crumble

© 2007, The Dallas Morning News, Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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