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

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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 Oct. 14, 2005 / 11 Tishrei. 5766

The Prophet Motif

By Jay D. Homnick

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | George W. Bush has placed me in the rather unenviable position of disagreeing with G-d.

This circumstance results from a recent BBC documentary which interviewed Messrs. Abbas and Shaath of the Palestinian Authority about their dealings with our President. They reveal that Bush reported to them that G-d told him, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." Then, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq." Finally, he explained to his Palestinian interlocutors, he feels G-d's words coming to him and saying: "Go get the Palestinians their state and get Israel their security, and get peace in the Middle East."

Incidentally, the Talmud (Bava Batra 12b) says that although the Age of Prophecy is over, occasionally it seeps through to children or to people who are not fully sane. (The theology is that once Revelation hands off to Reason, people are supposed to use their intellects to make life decisions based on existing texts. Those whose minds are not fully developed occasionally get a glimpse of a revelatory reality beyond human intelligence.)

When I lived in Cincinnati in the early '90s, I attended the 70th birthday party of a recent Russian-Jewish immigrant. Through tears and a choked-up throat he told the story of the crazy old lady who saved all the Jews of his small Ukrainian town. She was a widow who kept to herself. But one day in the '20s she showed up at Sabbath services, walked up to the pulpit and proclaimed that the synagogue would soon be turned into a dance hall.

Shortly thereafter, a Soviet officer came to town to look for a suitable recreational facility for his soldiers and chose to confiscate the building for that purpose. So when she came to the public square one day in 1941 to announce that the Nazis were coming, all the Jews knew to hit the road, scant days ahead of the invaders.

Still, somehow I intuit that President Bush would not invoke this crazy prophet loophole. In which case this entire situation is cause for extreme discomfort. How do we respond to a leader that believes he receives auguries from on high?

Now, it is true that Abraham Lincoln said that "when the Good L-rd wants me to do something, He usually finds a way to let me know". But we assume that this refers to some level of inspiration, perhaps peculiar concatenations of events leading the decision-making process in a particular direction. There is no record of his referring to a voice that addressed him as Abraham and offered recognizable instructions.

Ronald Reagan expressed to a number of his close friends and advisers that he felt he was given a mission by G-d to bring down the Soviet Union. This should be taken to mean that he detected patterns in the Fate that guided his life. He recognized that certain opportunities were being made available to him, often contrary to all predictions and against great odds, and he pieced together events and moments to form a symmetry that revealed a prior plan. No personal bulletins to "Ron" complete with detailed text. Our own President's revelations, if the Palestinian report is credible (I also have personal sources who say they have heard similar statements), are unprecedented and quite disturbing. Once prophecy is the currency of Executive initiatives, is there still a place for reason and advice? What would happen if the reverse was the case and I stepped forward with a prophecy to deliver to the President? Would he grant me an audience?

Should we want him to?

This seems especially noisome in a matter as questionable as forming a Palestinian state. This is a people that has shown no cultural or political maturity. They produce nothing and destroy whatever they touch. Their entire approach to advancing as a society has been through the agency of terrorism. They have had an autonomous self-governing body since 1993 which has developed no industry worthy of mention. They have built no cities. I would be very interested to hear G-d defend their right to a state: on what basis?

And if indeed one can tolerate the idea of explicit prophecies guiding a modern head of state, how does it advance the cause when he passes on the message to parties in sensitive negotiations? How is it helpful to tell the Palestinians, sitting there with blood-soaked hands, that their cause is so righteous that G-d Himself is endorsing it in personal conversations with the most powerful man in the world? Even if true revelation can trump reason, it's no excuse for introducing counterproductive themes into the language of diplomacy. Not to mention that it opens the door to the ultimate trump card: what if Abbas answers that he has a prophecy not to stop fighting until Israel is destroyed?

I can only conclude with the classic Hebrew phrase, used over centuries of scholarly debate: "Im kabbalah hi nekabel v'im ledin yesh teshuvah (if it is a prophecy, we must accept, but if it is a logical argument, we can refute it)."

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JWR contributor Jay D. Homnick is the author of many books and essays on Jewish political and religious affairs. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Jay D. Homnick