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

Flunking a blood test

By Jim Mullen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It sounded like fun. It always does until someone gets hurt.

For $100 apiece, Sue and I got our DNA tested. It's simple: You sign up online, they send you a little kit, you spit into a fancy test tube and send it back. Six weeks later, voila -- you know for sure where your ancestors came from. None of this "I was King Henry the Eighth in a past life" nonsense, but how much of me is European, how much is Asian, how much is African? Am I a carrier of some genetic disease? How many of my relatives have taken this test?

The first thing most people say when they find out we did this is, "Why? What about your privacy?" Sorry, but if you have a Facebook page, a credit card or a driver's license, your privacy ship has already sailed. And really, what does it matter if someone knows my ethnic heritage or who my fifth and sixth cousins are? I don't even care that much; why would anyone else?

The second question people ask is, "What did you find out? Were there any surprises?"

Oh, yeah, there was a surprise. The legend in my family, from the way my grandparents look in old, fading photographs, is that we have some Native American ancestry. But unless the Native Americans came over here from Ireland originally, the answer is a big honking "no." If I was anything in a past life, it was one of the Clancy Brothers.

No, the big surprise is that I am 2.6 percent Neanderthal. No wonder Mensa never called me back. First, I didn't know Neanderthals and humans could mate. How can I have any of their genes? Sue had a lot of fun with that -- until she opened her file. Turns out she's 2.5 percent Neanderthal. The rest of her is more Irish than "Riverdance." Still, she's less caveman than I am, which she now mentions with depressing regularity. In public. Some things, it turns out, should be kept private.

The results also told me that I probably have brown hair and brown eyes, and on and on, then listed genetic markers I carry for diseases and syndromes which, at my age, I already have: arthritis, atrial fibrillation, male pattern baldness, etc. Having a marker for a disease or a cancer doesn't mean you will get it, because most diseases need an environmental trigger, too. It seems I pulled a lot of triggers. But what if I had been tested as a child? Would I have lived the same kind of life?

The test tells you which of your relatives, known and unknown, have also taken this test. Since the test is only available to people who have an extra $100 handy, most of our distant relatives are not going to be in this database. Mine lists about 260 people I'm related to, most of them fifth or sixth cousins who live all over the world. You can choose to have your identity open to these people, or not. I chose "not." It's bad enough that Sue knows I'm Neanderthal; I don't need distant cousins I never met lording it over me.

But the most interesting of all is that, if you like, you can become part of the quest to break all the DNA codes. By answering questions about your health history and your environment, anonymously if you like, it helps find new markers. And there are some real oddball questions: "Do you like the taste of cilantro?" It turns out that about 17 percent of people of European descent hate it. It sounds silly, but what if they find that every cilantro-phobe also has the marker for something else, something serious and hard to detect? Suddenly we may discover a simple, inexpensive test for some condition.

Or maybe we'll find out Neanderthals are much smarter than we thought.


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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."

© 2014, NEA