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 October 19, 2009 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Not so sweet charity

By Kathryn Lopez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On a conference call with liberal religious leaders and activists this summer, President Obama said, "I know there's been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness, but I want everyone to know what health insurance reform is all about." He uses words like "ludicrous" and "fabrications" to dismiss criticisms of his health care plan — which is still, in fact, a work in progress, making a lot of people's legitimate worries about the uncertainty of it all very relevant. But here he wasn't just getting into a political dust-up with Sarah Palin — a prominent, critic of the reform — nor was he dismissing Republicans in the House and Senate. He was dismissing concerned citizens who, at the time, were showing up to town hall meetings in their congressional districts. He was dismissing bishops of the Catholic Church who have been raising concerns about abortion, first and foremost, but about the whole approach as well.

At a campaign rally in Newton, Iowa, in October 2004, John Edwards, then a senator and Democratic nominee for vice president, said: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." It was snake-oil salesmanship, plain and simple. Stem cells or Nobel aspirations, it was shameful.

In 1979, in an interview with the novelist Martin Amis in the British Tatler magazine, Roman Polanski said: "If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… (having sex), you see, and the young girls. Judges want to (have sex with) young girls. Juries want to (have sex with) young girls. Everyone wants to (have sex with) young girls!" And this is the man that titans of Hollywood rushed to align themselves with?

What all of these instances have in common is that political and cultural differences had me disposed to disagree with these men. And yet, to each statement, I reacted with a reflexive disbelief. Initially, I couldn't believe that they said the things that they were reported to have uttered. I wanted to think the best of these men whom I disagreed with.

I don't think it was an extraordinary attitude on my part. It's only natural to anyone reared on Biblical messages about charity and compassion. This reflex is the fruit of the kind of moral grounding that's always been in the American bloodstream.

So why is it that when comments like: "Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark," are erroneously attributed to Rush Limbaugh, the instinct, not just from the fringes of society but from the very mainstream of our political and cultural and sports worlds, is to believe? And not just to believe, but to be driven mad by falsehood? Chris Matthews, on MSNBC, fulminated: "Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like (James Bond villain) Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp."

It's not a wild assumption that Limbaugh was eliminated as a potential partial owner of the St. Louis Rams because Al Sharpton insisted it be so. The self-appointed representative of moral victories declared another triumph when Limbaugh was shut out of the NFL. The major leagues shouldn't have owners who are "divisive and incendiary," he said.

This would be the same Sharpton who never apologized for the Tawana Brawley hoax that ended a police officer's career; the same divisive and incendiary Sharpton who incited murder at Freddie's Fashion Mart in New York City.

We seem to have a high degree of moral cluelessness when it comes to charity and, to use what has now become a popular word in Supreme Court circles, empathy. We extend it when prudence would direct us to be on guard. And we have no room for it when it comes to a man whom certain top-of-the-world types tell us is no good. Outside of the 20 million or so people who listen to Limbaugh three hours a day, five days a week, maybe we're too busy to listen to all of it ourselves, so we listen to what they tell us about him — without any healthy skepticism. We're too busy for charity.

Sounding like a head-over-heels congressional page, Republican-turned-Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter wrote on his Twitter feed shortly after President Obama campaigned for his reelection on Sept. 16: "I predict he will accomplish the toughest job of all — to bring civility to Washington." I suppose the Nobel announcement for the "new climate" Obama's created in the world is supposed to be the exclamation point on that Tweet. But the actual climatological outlook is morally cloudy, with a chance of hyper-political poor discernment. And so we buy lies and let facts fall by the wayside. That's not charity, that's willful ignorance, and it pollutes our politics, as well as our very souls.

Comment by clicking here.


© 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.