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 Sept. 20, 2010 / 13 Tishrei, 5771

Hard Times. When Will They End?

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | NEWS ITEM: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that one-in-seven Americans was living in poverty.

A homeless man sees a car go past. He holds up his sign.

The car doesn't stop.

The driver is distracted, upset at the news from his cell phone. His financial advisor is saying his portfolio is down. It's the third year in a row that his money can't make money. He feels he is going backward; he's working harder, but getting poorer.

He parks at his office. He joins a staff meeting. Sales are down again. The sales director frowns. This means no bonus. For the third year in a row, his annual income dips. He feels he is going backward. He works twice as hard, but is getting poorer.

He goes for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Sitting at the next table is a married couple in hushed conversation. The wife is upset. The husband bites his lip. Their second home, their dream house on the lake, is no longer affordable. They have to let it go. They worked so hard to get it. "When is this going to get better?" the wife asks. The husband shrugs.

The restaurant owner comes by to check on them. He smiles, but his mind is racing. Business is down. The bills are piling up. He has to cut staff. He looks at the waiters. He looks at the cooks. He hired these people. Now he has to fire someone. What happened to the days when his business was growing? What happened to his optimism? "I'm getting poorer," he reminds himself.

He calls a cook into his office.

When the cook gets home, he slams the door. His kids look up. His wife says, "What's wrong?" They now must get by on her salary alone. She works in a hospital, $18 an hour. Their oldest son is about to graduate high school and hoped to go to a private university.

"I'm really sorry," the father tells him. He looks at his feet. This is not how they planned it. But what do plans mean anymore?

The boy goes to school the next day. He tells his counselor to forget about a certain application. The counselor understands. She has seen this a hundred times. Her husband hasn't worked in a year. She thanks the Lord their kids are grown, though two of the three are unemployed.

She walks down the hall and passes the school janitor. He yawns, exhausted. He has two jobs -- this one, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., and a second as a night watchman. Even so, he barely pays his bills. He never sees his kids. His wife is asleep most of their time together.

When he gets home that day, there's a moving truck parked by his small house. The neighbors are moving. "What happened?" he asks. They say they can't make the payments. They sunk all they had into that house eight years ago. Now they are "upside down."

"Where will you go?" the janitor says.

"We'll move in with relatives," they say.

They shake hands and try to smile. Each remembers happier days, when they sat on porches and watched kids play in the street. They feel they're going backward.

The moving truck enters the poor, rundown neighborhood. A lanky teen is watching. He wonders what's in that truck. He wonders if he could steal it. He wasn't always a bad kid. When he was small he dreamed of being an airline pilot. But there was never any money and there was never any guidance. His father, laid off years ago, stole things, too. Now he's in jail.

The teen figures he will need a gun. He knows where he can get one. He walks down a service drive that runs near a highway. By the entrance, he sees a homeless man sitting in the street.

"Help me out?" the homeless man asks.

The teen rolls his eyes.

The homeless man sees the teen walk away. He remembers when he was that young. He wishes he still were. He has gotten older, but it feels like he has gone backward.

A car approaches. He holds up his sign. The driver, on his cell phone, doesn't look up. But he -- like the sales director, the married couple, the restaurant owner, the fired cook, the student, the counselor, the janitor, the foreclosed neighbors, the lanky teen and the rest of us -- could all relate to the words the homeless man wrote.

"Help me. Hard Times."

And we wonder when they will end.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives