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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. 5, 2009 / 17 Tishrei 5770

A Walk with Faith

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The old gentleman stood backstage, behind the curtain. He was a little wobbly, and he leaned against a friend.


"All set?" I whispered.


"Here we go," he said.


I hooked his thin arm around my elbow and we stepped into a spotlight. Instantly, the noise was thunderous, a screaming, loving shower of applause, filling the building from floors to rafters. It roared on as he walked gingerly across the stage to a waiting chair, his 91-year-old body taking small steps, as if savoring the moment, or being alive.


Finally, Ernie Harwell sat down.


"Thank you for that vocal hug," he told the crowd. Someone yelled out, "We love you, Ernie!" and he chuckled and weakly raised his hand in acknowledgment. The Fox Theatre was sold out. The lower orchestra seats. The balcony. The entire upper level. Faces everywhere you looked.


But when he spoke, you didn't hear a breath.


Harwell is dying from inoperable cancer. His doctors didn't want him doing this. His wife was worried it might be too much. But the voice of summer, the voice of our childhoods, the voice of warm nights and long car rides and beach radios and hidden transistor headphones in a schoolchild's ear, the Tigers' announcer for almost half a century and easily the most beloved man in the state of Michigan, wanted to be there.


Because it was helping others.


And because he had something to say.

NOTHING BUT FAITH
The occasion was my charity book launch, a book about faith, charities to help the homeless. A once-homeless man opened the night, and told of how the kindness of one poor pastor — who let him sleep in his home for a year — turned his life around.


Now it was Ernie's turn to talk. I asked him questions, about his early career, about his time with legends like Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb. He told a funny story about Rachel


Robinson getting expensive gifts from Jackie after road trips, while Ernie's wife, Lulu, was lucky to get "a bar of soap from the hotel."


Then he spoke about an unexpected subject: his ambition. He said early on he wanted success, notoriety, and he chased it from a small newspaper to a major league broadcast booth.


"But none of those things fulfilled me," he said


THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION
Because of his faith, Ernie is more humble than most, yet humility made him more beloved than flamboyance ever could. I told him his voice was like "going home" for people from this state. "Well, thank ya," he said softly, the Georgia drawl still a small shadow behind his words.


Finally, he spoke about dying.


"I don't know how many days I've got left … but I praise God because he's given me this time. … I can really know … whose arms I'm going to end up in, and what a great, great thing heaven is going to be."


When he said that, a shiver shot from my chest to my fingers. It is one thing to read about belief, but it is another thing to witness belief in the face of death, and hear it spoken in a calm, serene voice. "Whose arms I'm going to end up in." No matter what religion you may or may not follow, when delivered that way, how can faith not be a beautiful thing?


The evening was getting long and Ernie's strength was ebbing, I could see his lips trembling. I asked for any final thoughts.


"Folks, I'd like to say that one of the greatest honors I could have bestowed upon me is to be here and to look in the faces that I've talked to and never seen before, but I know that maybe some of you at one time turned the radio on. And the great thing about a radio — you can always cut it off. … Thank you and G-d bless you."


And as the people rose to their feet, many in tears, Ernie rose to his and said to me again, "Here we go," and arm-in-arm we headed to the curtain. I had to ask him to stop two times simply to acknowledge the deafening crowd.


Finally, we reached the curtain, where a friend helped him to a waiting car, which drove him back to his modest home, his loving wife, his familiar bed.


As a sportswriter, I have walked alongside greatness, walked alongside skill, walked alongside power, success and fame. But I have never been arm-in-arm with pure goodness and faith the way I was that night. And while I know it looked as if I was boosting Ernie up, it was, and will forever be, the other way around.

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