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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 3, 2014 / 5 Tammuz, 5774

Learning to love our country's birthday party

By Sharon Randall




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Birthday celebrations are not always sparkling affairs.

The day I turned 6, I raised my hand to announce to my fellow first-graders: "You are all invited to my grandmother's house today at 4 o'clock to celebrate my birthday. She lives down the road from Smith's Grocery. You can bring a present if you want, or not."

Then I ran home after school to tell my grandmother.

"You did what?" she said.

"I invited everybody. Plus my teacher. And the principal."

"Well, why didn't you just invite the whole dang school?"

"I wanted to," I said, "but I feared it might get out of hand."

Her eyes got big. "Lord help us! How many are coming?"

"I don't know. It's pretty short notice. Maybe not everybody."

She muttered a word I won't repeat and ran to the kitchen to try to scrounge up a cake.

I combed my hair and waited. Only two guests showed up: A boy who gave me a Hershey Bar. And a girl who ate it.

They left when they saw the cake. My grandmother forgot the baking soda and it looked rather like a lopsided short stack of pancakes.

For lack of a candle, she lit a match. I had to laugh. Not at the match. At the light in her eyes. I wish you could've seen it.

"Make a wish," she said.

I closed my eyes and wished I never had to go back to school. Then I blew out the match, she sang "Happy Birthday" and we each had two pieces of cake.

As parties go, it wasn't bad. But I had no desire for another one. Not even for my country.

That's what they called it: "A Birthday Party for our Great Country." It was a Fourth of July picnic hosted by the mill where my stepfather worked.

Like any other red-blooded, G0D-fearing, 6-year-old Southerner, I'd been raised to feel blessed to live in the land of the free. I would never take that freedom for granted. I didn't feel special about much, but I felt special to be an American. I loved my country. I just didn't want to go to that picnic.

"Too bad," said my mother.

I went. It was hot. Yes, hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July in a feather bed in hell.

I wore a dress that made me look like Orphan Annie and sweated like I'd just been baptized.

Old people sat in the shade fanning themselves as if it helped. Babies lay on blankets, too hot to cry. Toddlers staggered off and got lost. Boys my age tried to kill each other. Girls my age stayed home.


The millhands stood around smoking and joking, while their wives set food on the picnic tables, whirling their arms like human windmills swatting flies.

Cold food was hot. Hot food was cold. And the iced tea tasted like last week's dishwater.

Then the sun went down, the night came up, the air cooled off, the stars came out and the mosquitoes nearly ate us alive.

I was hiding under a table when the fireworks began. I thought we'd been bombed. Then I looked up and saw all those colors exploding in the sky. And suddenly, everything bad turned to good and all things ugly became beautiful.

The old people stopped fanning and picked up the babies. The toddlers came back and the boys stopped fighting and the millhands crushed out their cigarettes to hoist their children up on their shoulders and pull their wives close to their sides.

And there for a few blessed moments we all stood as one on equal ground — no fighting, no arguing, no differences, all the same — to smile up at Heaven, alive and free, oohing and ahhing and feeling special.

I fell in love that night with fireworks. Not just on the Fourth of July. I can find them anywhere — in sunsets and city lights, in fireflies and campfires, in hopes and dreams and the gift of freedom and, most of all, in the eyes of people I love.

I bet you can find them, too.

Look. Did you see that flash?


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