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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 August 17, 2006 / 23 Menachem-Av, 5766

In a political year, the solace of baseball

By Garrison Keillor


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You wake up on a summer morning, the smell of possibility in the air, and you feel slim and gifted and innocent, and of course you should mow the lawn, but as Walt Whitman said, "What is the grass? It is the handkerchief of the Lord, a scented gift." And who would cut G-d's hanky? Not you. Time to set aside the petty drudgery of home maintenance and go off in search of the incomparable wonders of this world. Nebulae spiral in the sky thousands of centuries away, the Mississippi flows round the bend, ripe tomatoes hang on the vine, each one replete with astonishment and delight, and also there is baseball. Crowds hustling to the park, funneling through the turnstiles, the yap of the hucksters, the smell of bratwurst. Love can break your heart, but nobody was ever betrayed by a bratwurst.


Baseball is classic American. Every time you go to the game, you pay homage to your old man. He who lobbed the tennis ball so it bounced off your bat and gave you the thrill of success, who engaged in the patient, silent and intimate conversation of playing catch. I went to the ballgame the other day, and there, between innings in the men's can, a little boy of four or so stood at the urinal, firing uphill, his dad coaching him, and it was sweet to see, a kid's introduction to the ancient ritual. None of us is born smart, each of us needed basic tutoring from Dad. Shoe tying, nail pounding, hoeing, parallel parking, and baseball. And now, years later, you sit and watch the game by heart and see the third baseman's heroic backhand stab of the sizzling grounder down the line (a sure triple!) and his long throw to catch the runner at first, and (involuntarily) you raise a fist and yell, "Yes!" — it all goes back to your old man.


Seeing men compete at the height of their ability is pure inspiration these days, politics having turned so cheesy. What you thought of as civics turns out to be a basic service industry, like bartending but without the jokes. Politics today is about money. Abramoff was the rule, not the exception. The cultural issues, the Christian values, they are pure camouflage, and so is national security. Congress is mostly about serving its clients, who are not you or me, and now this gang of misfits, nitwits and yahoos is hoping that the arrest by British police of a band of terrorists might enable Rep. Blimp and Sen. Foghorn to play the security card once more. There is no limit to their brazenness. They would swipe your wallet and then return it for the reward. Lord, have mercy.


People yearn for candidates who speak with conviction to the middle, who speak to what unites us, which is a miracle in this fractious nation. The mega-Baptists look down on the mini-Anglicans, the Websters smirk at us print writers, westerners nurse a fine loathing for the East Coast, the rappers exercise an extravagant contempt for almost everybody. Men and women are wired differently, as I found out when I tried to introduce my little girl to Laurel and Hardy the other day. Each poke in the snoot and bonk on the head with a frying pan, the pratfall into the fountain, the collision with a ladder: she winced at the violence of it, and when Ollie whacked Stan upside the head and he stood and whimpered, she said, "Not funny."


The skeptics hear the bells Sunday morning and imagine the devout are moved by mindless superstition. Meanwhile, the devout assume the non-devout are indolent narcissists. We are ships in the night, islands in the sea of life, and seldom do our peripheries touch, as my aunt Eleanor used to say. But we meet in certain places, such as here at the ballpark, and that is good, especially if we can keep our mouths shut.


Two teams battle it out through eight innings of tight defensive baseball, before the game suddenly splits open in the bottom of the ninth, a scratch single, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly to deep right, a ground ball deep to the shortstop's left, the run dashes home, and we are victors. But only for today. We are none of us heroes for long. The winning team doesn't dance around with index fingers in the air. They line up and give each other the high knuckle and walk to the dressing room. So long, see you tomorrow.

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.

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

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