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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 31, 2014 / 4 Menachem-Av, 5774

Why a 'liar' loves to hear from readers

By Sharon Randall




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) For a writer, it's a gift to know someone reads your writing. For a storyteller, it's high praise to hear a story in return. Have I mentioned I love getting mail?

In the mountains where I grew up, storytellers were once known as "liars." This was not an insult. The tales they told were often more fabricated than factual. But they were entirely true of the human condition, intended not to inform, but to entertain, enlighten and inspire.

I was born into a family of "liars." My grandparents and parents, my blind baby brother, my aunts and uncles and dozens of cousins, the dogs that slept under the porch, even the fleas that slept on the dogs — we all told stories. But I never once dreamed that I'd grow up to earn my living as a writer.

The story of how it happened is a long one. The short of it is this: I won a scholarship to college. Got married. Had three babies. Took a job as a file clerk for a newspaper and ended up as a reporter and a columnist.

A lot of other things happened, too, along the way. A life can be summed up in the lines of a resume or an obituary, but it's lived between those lines.

For 20 years, I've written a weekly column and every week, I hear from strangers — friends I've yet to meet — who read my stories and write in return to tell me stories of their own.

They write about their lives, their families, their hopes and dreams, losses and joys and, most of all, their grandchildren.

I wish you could read them.

My great regret is not always having the time to reply (I won't live that long.) But I read every note, every card, every email, and I appreciate every word. It's enough to make me keep writing. At least for today.

My stepfather was just a boy when his father was killed in an accident. His mother needed help feeding the family, so he quit school to go to work.

He never learned to read. He married my mother when I was 4. She taught him how to write his name. I remember the look in his eyes the day he realized I was watching him practice.

His illiteracy was a family secret. We all knew it, but never spoke of it in his presence.

A few years before he died, when I published a collection of columns, I gave him a copy that I signed and inscribed for him.

I'll never forget it. He held my book in his big calloused hands, studying my name on the cover. I showed him where I'd signed it and read aloud the inscription. I had seen him cry once, the day my mother died. But this time, it was somehow harder to watch.

Finally, he looked in my eyes.

"I can't read a word of it," he said. "But I will sure treasure it."

I've been blessed by many fine words in my life, but none that meant more than those.

We read and write for two reasons: To know and to be known. It's been that way a very long time and I hope it always will. It works like this. You take thoughts and feelings from your mind and heart and maybe your soul and fashion them into words. That is called language.

You put the words on paper or a computer, using lines and symbols you trust to carry your meaning. That is called writing.

Then someone you've never met will see your lines and symbols and recognize them as words. That is called reading.

Sometimes the words hold the power to recreate the writer's thoughts and feelings in the mind and the heart and even in the soul of the reader.

That is called a miracle.

Words matter. They tell us who we are. They turn strangers into friends. They can even make us want to keep doing what we do. At least for today.

I told you all that to say this: I am grateful for your kind words and the stories you write to tell me. I may not always have time to write back and say thanks.

But I will sure treasure it.


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