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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 Oct. 1, 2007 / 19 Tishrei 5768

Addicted to input, will the earphoned masses ever know the sound of the world at rest?

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was coming through an airport recently and found myself next to a tall young man who was smiling my way. Trying to be polite, I smiled back. He nodded his head. I nodded in turn.


Had we had met before, I wondered? Had I forgotten his name? Where would I know him from? Was it work? Personal? Someone from my past? Quick. Think!


I smiled again. I nodded some more.


Then he turned to the side — and I frowned.


Headphones.


Little white headphones, snaking from his ears to under his sweatshirt, disappearing into, I suppose, an iPod somewhere. He wasn't nodding at me, he was bouncing to the beat. The smile he threw my way came from something he was hearing, not the face he was seeing. He was there, but he wasn't there, you know?


It's not the first time this has happened. More and more it seems, people go out in public in body only. Their mind and consciousness is dripping out their ears and down a wire into a portable device. A cell phone. An iPod. A small TV. A DVD player showing a full-length movie.


"Tune in, turn on, drop out" was a phrase my generation invented in the '60s.


We didn't mean iTunes.

TO AND FROM THE ARENA
Now, I am not allergic to headphones. I got my first pair when I was a teenager, big, round, earmuff things that weighed a ton. They sat on my head like the headgear of a Gemini astronaut — or a Dallas Cowboy.


But they only went as far as the cord that was connected to my stereo. Mostly, I wore them to not wake up my parents.


Today, headphones are as much an accessory as a belt. Subway riders wear them. People working out wear them. Pro athletes wear them to the arena, from the arena and sometimes during interviews.


You get on a bus, the person next to you wears headphones. On a plane they tune out as soon as electronic devices are OK (and sometimes before). You can buy headphones almost anywhere. Newspaper stands. Drug stores.


It's not that I am anti-music, anti-video or anti-phone call. You get a lot out of all those things. But at the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I would caution any younger, headphone-addicted readers that it's not always about what you're getting.


Sometimes it's what you are missing.

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE
For example, people. It's true, some strangers you'd just as soon not talk to. But folks used to strike up conversations on buses or planes, because there really wasn't much else to do. "Where you heading?" was a common line. Today you ask that, it means you're weird or desperate.


Nature. You can't hear birds with plugs in your ears. Or gusting wind. Or the sound of rain hitting rooftops. Sitting on a beach may be nice to do with the Black Eyed Peas in your ears, but there is something to be said for the crash of waves and the squawk of seagulls.


And then there is the simple sound of nothing. As a post-college kid, I once got stranded at a railroad station in Yugoslavia. It was hours until the next train. I had nothing to read, couldn't speak the language, and the station was in the middle of nowhere. So I sat there, my back against the wall, alone in the hot sun. It was just quiet.


Do you know, I still can remember that sensation? I remember it as well as I remember any song or video. It was haunting. It was real. It was something I miss: the sound of the world at rest.


Do we even know how to be at rest anymore? Have we become so addicted to input — noise, ads, Internet, cell phones — that being still is alien?


I think about that tall guy at the airport, nodding his head at me, and I wonder if he ever knew I was there. They used to say if a stranger smiles at you, check his eyes. Today you check his ears. .

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