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 Nov. 4, 2005 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

The Divine's blog?

By Abe Novick

In attempting to know and understand everything, we’ve built our own Babel by launching satellites, laying down fat cables and building a multitude of towers, wiring it all together in the form of a Web

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was just some ten years ago that this Tower of Babel we call the Internet became widely available. Experientially, what began for a lot of us as an incremental step, a listening device into the outer reaches of cyberspace, now registers as a dissonant, cacophony of sights and sounds at supersonic speed.

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I can still remember my first little slowpoke, US Robotics modem with its high-pitched connecting tone hooking me into the AOL galaxy. Today, I’m dodging pop-ups, porn and pill offers faster than I could ever maneuver the little space ship in Atari’s Asteroids’ game. Now, messages come in so many various forms and formats from blogs and pod-casts to streaming video and junk-spam. Half of the spamola is so utterly indecipherable, it could only be read by an NSA interpreter.

Likewise, as we chatter in chat rooms and transmit text messages speedier than you can say synapse, we’re communicating so quickly our brains are fast becoming overloaded  —  tilting towards a crash.

According to the account in this week's Torah portion, the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens. To prevent the project from taking off, G-d confused their languages so that each spoke a different language and they could no longer communicate with each other and the work on it shut down.

In attempting to know and understand everything, we’ve built our own Babel by launching satellites, laying down fat cables and building a multitude of towers, wiring it all together in the form of a Web.

But is this web connecting us and allowing us to all talk together in one voice or overloading us with its vast matrix, labyrinthine lingo and confusing corridors? According to Technorati, there are 11 million blogs.


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In his book, The Talmud and the Internet, Jonathan Rosen makes a link comparing the two, “Those who are convinced by mystical symmetry should ponder the irony that the Hebrew word for tractate, or volume of the Talmud, is masechta, which literally means webbing.” Today, we are all Jews living in a Diaspora where the Internet allows us to connect in ways we couldn’t until only a decade ago.

But with this ability, the whirring images of tragedy and triumph whiz by so fast it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false, when the standard of text has gone from All the News That’s Fit To Print to It’s So, If You Blog It So.

Everywhere, we’re all armed, holstered and loaded, ready to point and shoot and then upload (no need to reload, digitization has rendered that obsolete.) We’re all members of the media now.

Faster than a popping paparazzi bulb, the first frames beamed into the blogosphere portraying London’s tube terrorist bombings (the first of them) were taken by amateur Adam Stacey.

But while Adam was probably a mentsh, there are far too many who aren’t as good-willed. After swimming in this vast sea of information, where slime is everywhere, it can make a person want to shower off after logging out.

With all of us talking at the same time, with such a tidal wave of information transmission and dissemination, what impact will it have on our ability to communicate?

Perhaps we should take a step back? You’d think with a name like Gutenberg, he might have been Jewish. But the name was just lifted from the neighborhood where his father had moved. Nevertheless, the kind of text revolution he spurred by facilitating scientific publishing, not to mention Gutenberg Bibles due to his movable type, accelerated a change across the known world that left the Medieval period on a dusty shelf while ushering in The Renaissance and the discovery of a whole new world. Similarly, we are on a major cusp of new advances and breakthroughs.

In The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, NY Times columnist Tom Friedman describes a world where a combination of undersea broadband cables and inexpensive computers have collided creating a world in which, “…we are now connecting all the knowledge centers on the planet together into a single global network, which — if politics and terrorism do not get in the way — could usher in an amazing era of prosperity and innovation.”

Where does G-d fit into all of this? While still desperately in search of something higher, maybe the irony is, we are all just part of G-d’s blog.

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

JWR contributor Abe Novick is senior vice president at Eisner Communications in Baltimore. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Abe Novick