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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 Sept. 17, 2007 / 5 Tishrei 5768

A night of Wonder when Stevie sings

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Why would a blind man stand on a piano bench? It's dangerous. It's risky. What is to be gained?


Stevland Judkins was born 57 years ago, prematurely, and was blind from infancy. As a child, he formed a singing group with a friend from his Detroit neighborhood, John Glover, and they called themselves — not surprisingly, since they were kids — "Steve and John." They mimicked popular artists of the time, like Jackie Wilson and Smokey Robinson.


One day Glover introduced his blind friend to Ronnie White, a member of the Miracles, and White introduced him to Berry Gordy, from Motown Records, and Gordy liked him so much that and even though the kid was only 12, he signed him to the label with a new name:


Stevie Wonder.


Last week, four decades later, Wonder was back in metro Detroit, on stage, belting out a three-hour concert barrage of hits, from "A Place in the Sun" to "Part Time Lover."


At one point, toward the end, with the audience already on its feet, roaring, clapping, singing along, Wonder, who has never seen the crowds that adore him, stood up on the piano bench. And he seemed to take it all in.

THE PERFECT OPENING
I have been to many concerts. I rarely write about them. But then, I have rarely witnessed a performance as emotional as Wonder back in his hometown.


For starters, there was the opening of the show. No pyrotechnics, no theme music, no undulating dancers. Wonder walked out to an unpopulated stage, on the arm of his daughter, Aisha, and spoke about his mother, who died last year. He talked about the sadness. How he had considered shutting everything down. How her spirit convinced him otherwise. How he was playing now to thank the people who had supported his music and helped him make a better life for her.


Then there were the sing-alongs. Not to choruses of his most popular songs. Stevie Wonder's music is so melodic, so memorable, so almost innate, that people actually sang the instrumental riffs, like the infectious horn section line from "Sir Duke," the guitar-thwanking funk line that opens "Superstition," or the "la-la-la's" of "My Cherie Amour."


Then there was the way Wonder moved from song to song, often stopping before the finish, yelling "Hold it" to his band, then reaching for a keyboard — sometimes over a band-member's shoulder — and plunking a new chord until the band recognized where he was going and joined in.


And then there was the moment he launched into "Isn't She Lovely," a song he wrote after the birth of Aisha (she was the squealing baby on the record). The daughter, now in her 30s, playfully tickled her father, pushing the microphone away the way a young child would as he smiled broadly and sang the words, "Boy, I'm so happy/we have been heaven blessed."

THE ULTIMATE FINISH
Not to sound old here, but there is a lesson our kids could learn from Stevie Wonder on stage. For one thing, he writes nearly all of his music, can play nearly every instrument, produces and arranges his songs, and has a magnificent voice that, in his 50s, seems as powerful as it did in his 20s. Watching him perform is a stark contrast to Britney Spears in her underwear, slogging through dance steps and lip-syncing a forgettable piece of engineering.


Then there are his messages. For the 40 years he has been making music, Wonder never resorted to what I call "ooh baby, let's have sex" songs. He'll ponder society ("Living For The City"), race ("Ebony and Ivory"), the human spirit ("If It's Magic"), religion ("Heaven Help Us All") but mostly love. Always love.


Through his blindness, through a terrible car accident years ago that left him in a coma, even through the recent loss of his beloved mother, Wonder always has emerged positive. He exudes hope. A blind man. No angst. No drugs or booze. What a concept, huh?


He closed his show in tears, crying at the appreciation the audience was showering on him, urging people to heal their differences, as the band played on. I still do not know why he perched himself atop the piano bench. But it was not the first time Stevie Wonder stood taller than us all.

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