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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

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Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

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Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

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Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

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John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

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April 14, 2014

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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

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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

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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

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Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

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April 2, 2014

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Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

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The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 11, 2005 /9 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

More fallen heroes

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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | In June, 2004, Jewish World Review published a piece, by Nate Bloom, about Jewish service people killed in Iraq. On this Veterans Day, 2005, Bloom updates that piece with these additional heroes who gave their lives for this country in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Marine Sgt. ALAN D. SHERMAN, a reservist serving with B Company of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, based in Dover, PA., was killed on June 29, 2004, along with two other soldiers, when a bomb exploded near the front of his convoy. This was his unit's reported second tour of duty in Iraq. Sherman, an Ocean Township, New Jersey resident, was described at his Jewish funeral "as a Marine with a soft heart." He was the father of two young sons.

Despite his divorce, he and his ex-wife remained on good terms and he frequently saw his sons, Joshua and Logan.

MICHAEL TARLAVSKY, 30, was killed August 12, 2004 during a raid amid the fierce fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf. He was an army captain with the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group [Green Berets], based in Fort Campbell, Ky. He died in a hail of small-arms fire as he led Iraqi police trainees in a fight with insurgents who had blown up a school. This was Tarlavsky's second tour-of-duty in Iraq, having spent five months there in the beginning of 2003. He also fought in Afghanistan.

Tarlavsky was born in Latvia, in the former Soviet Union. His family first moved to Israel, and then came to the United States when Michael was 5. They eventually made their home in Clifton, N.J. Michael Tarlavsky was an Eagle Scout and captain of the swim team at Clifton High School. He was an avid marathon runner in recent years.

Michael Tarlavsky always wanted to be a soldier, according to his sister, Elina. He attended Rutgers University on a ROTC scholarship and was later assigned to Korea's DMZ, where among other duties he provided security for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ("He bragged most about that [assignment]," his sister told the AP.) Tarvalasky married another army captain in 2002 and settled in Tennessee. His wife gave birth to a son earlier this year.

The "Newark Star-Ledger" reported that Tarlavsky's parents combined Russian and Jewish traditions as they mourned their son: they propped up on their coffee table a photograph of Michael in uniform; a Yahrtzeit candle; and a shot glass filled to the rim with vodka. Michael's father, Yury, a veteran of the Soviet merchant marine, explained that a shot of vodka is a Russian way of honoring soldiers who have been killed.

Yury Tarlavsky said of his son: "He did his job very good. I'm very proud of my boy for what he did for his country." Michael Tarlavsky was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

MICHAEL RYAN COHEN, 23, was from Jacobus, Pennsylvania. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Cohen was shot and killed in combat Nov. 22, 2004, in Al Anbar province near Fallujah in Iraq. He was hit by small-arms fire and died before reaching a nearby hospital.

Three hundred people gathered in a York, Pennsylvania funeral parlor for Cohen's funeral, presided over by a rabbi.

After graduating from Dallastown Area High School, Cohen attended York Technical Institute. He loved to fish, play computer games, scuba dive and to roughhouse with the family's dogs. Because he majored in computer administration and networking at YTI, his family thought he would do something with computers in the military. He trained to be a rifleman in the infantry. "He wanted to jump out of helicopters carrying guns," his father told an area newspaper.

Michael's father, Dr. David Cohen, spoke at the funeral talked about going scuba diving with his son "before he became one of the few and the proud." He said it was during one of their driving trips that he realized his son had grown up, and that Michael was "someone I could depend on."

His older sister, Melissa, said at the funeral, "Don't take the people you love for granted." She said she learned that lesson the hard way. For most of the past three years, she and her brother weren't close. They didn't call or write each other. But, about two months ago, while her brother was in Iraq, Melissa wrote him an e-mail. She apologized for whatever she'd done to cause the rift between them. He wrote back and apologized too, she said. The siblings exchanged two or three more e-mails after that, and they were enjoying their renewed bond as brother and sister.

His mother, Agnes "Aggie" Cohen, said at the funeral that she initially was angry her son was killed. "I raged against the unfairness," she said. Since that initial reaction, she's been trying to understand what her son was fighting for. "Someone has to fight for those who cannot," she said. "Someone has to say, 'Enough. No more.'"

His sister younger Michelle Cohen, 20, said when they were younger, they fought like siblings do, but in later years she depended on him for support and advice. Michael's brother, Aaron, didn't speak.

Army Specialist DANIEL S. FREEMAN was killed in Afghanistan on April 6, 2005, when the helicopter he was flying in crashed. He was returning from a mission. The crash took the life of 14 other soldiers and three civilian contractors. Flying conditions were described as extremely poor.

Freeman, 20, was a member of the 173rd Airborne Division, an elite unit based in Italy. He is survived by his parents, Shmuel and Rebecca Birkin, his brother, Adam, and two grandparents.

Freeman was born in California, but moved to Israel at the age of 2, where he lived on two kibbutzim. He moved with his parents to Cincinnati, Ohio when he was 9 and lived in the Cincinnati area until entering the service.

His family was interviewed by the "American Israelite" newspaper of Cincinnati. They told the Israelite that Daniel attended a Jewish day school and joined the U.S. Army's Early Induction Program while attending Sycamore High School in Blue Ash, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb. He entered the Army a week after graduation.

One of his high school teachers told the Israelite that Freeman was, "one of the kindest, funniest, most driven kids I have ever had the pleasure to teach. He knew what he wanted to do in life... he made a difference in this world by his presence."

Not long before his death, the Israelite reports, his mother. a hospital maternity nurse, sent him this e-mail:

"It is hard not being part of your life right now, but I know that you are doing your most learning and growing right now, spiritually, mentally and emotionally...So if you have a moment for your mom to share things that you find profound, it will allow me to know how you are doing. I know you are a deep thinker, but not a deep talker, but try and I find your growth the most rewarding thing I could ever expericience.

Daniel Freeman replied:

"What I have experience in the Army is far more profound than anything else in my life. The things that I'm able to deal with would blow most people's minds. I've learned that my mind can be my ally as well as my enemy, and I'm constantly fighting it. This applies both mentally and physically. In my life right now I have many people and personalities that I have to deal with. I had to teach myself how to be a more flexible person when dealing with all of these personalities. In reality, I don't have an option when in combat. Thse are the people fighting to the left and right of me. Physically, I've learned how to push myself to my limits and, once there, continue to go. You'll be amazed your mind will set limits, but how far your body will go. I've run further, marched longer and been awake for more days than I ever thought my body could handle.

When I joined the army I was jaded by the thoughts of glory and grandeur. I no longer fight for a country, a flag, or anything patriotic. I fight for my friends who are next to me in combat. I fight to get home. I fight for the simple fact that I refuse to die in a land so far from those who are dearest to me...My biggest fear is not my death. It's the death of those whose parents and wives I'll have to see suffer. That's why I fight. That's what makes me a solider. That's why I don't question why I go to war. I accept it, clear my head and get my priorities straight. I want you to know that I love you I will see you in a year from now.


Airman 1st Class ELIZABETH JACOBSON, 21, was killed providing convoy security Sept. 28 near Camp Bucca, Iraq, when the humvee she was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device.

Jacobson was born in Florida, and raised near Fresno, California. She was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Jacobson had been in the Air Force for two years and had been deployed to Iraq for more than three months. She was initially assigned to a detention camp in Iraq, but volunteered for more dangerous duty.

She is the first female Airman killed in the line of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"She was an outstanding Airman who embraced life and took on all the challenges and responsibilities with extraordinary commitment to her country, her comrades and her family," said Col. Scott Bethel, 17th Training Wing commander at Goodfellow.

As reported by the New York Jewish Week, "The terrorist attacks of 9-11 had motivated Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson, an 11th-grader when the terror attacks occurred, to join the military. 'I told her over two years ago that enlisting after 9-11 meant she would definitely see combat," her father, David, recalls. "She said she was prepared for that. She believed that being there [in Iraq] meant not fighting them here.'''

Jacobson had a complicated religious background, like many children of inter-faith families. Her father, David Jacobson, is Jewish, while Elizabeth's mother, Marianne, is not Jewish. Her parents divorced when she was a young child and Elizabeth was baptized and mostly raised Christian. However, her father began a journey to become a much more religious Jew about five years ago and is Orthodox, today.

Her father's Orthodox Judaism greatly interested Elizabeth and, on her own volition, she requested that the word "Jewish" be put on her dog tags before being sent to Iraq.

David Jacobson was touched by this gesture, even though as an Orthodox Jew, he realized his daughter was not Jewish as Jewishness is defined by traditional Jewish law (under traditional Jewish law — one's mother must be Jewish or one must convert to Judaism via an Orthodox recognized conversion. The Reform wing of American Judaism, by contrast, recognizes the children of Jewish fathers as "Jewish," absent a formal conversion, if the child of a Jewish father demonstrates his or her affiliation to the Jewish religion through certain life-cycle events like bar or bat mitzvah.)

One Jewish newspaper quotes David Jacobson and Elizabeth's paternal grandfather as saying that Airman Jacobson had expressed a desire to convert to Orthodox Judaism upon her return to the States. Another Jewish newspaper piece leaves this a bit less clear. It is clear that her father's transformation from a secular Jew to a religious one had impressed and affected Airman Jacobson.

Elizabeth Jacobson was buried in a non-denominational ceremony that incorporated some Jewish traditions — including a plain shroud and plain coffin. Touchingly, David Jacobson added that he said the Jewish prayer for the dead for his daughter— the Talmud, he said, allows a Jewish parent to mourn a non-Jewish child in this way.

At the funeral, Air Force officers presented her father and mother with American flags. Her family also received Elizabeth Jacobson's Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Marine lst Lieutenant ANDREW STERN was killed September 16, 2004 during fighting near Fallujah, Iraq. He was just weeks away from his rotation home. Stern was a member of Bravo Company, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Regimental Combat Team, 1st Marine Division, based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California.

His parents, Richard and Ellen, found out about their son's death when they found two Marines in dress uniforms waiting for them as they returned to their Germantown, Tennessee home after Rosh Hashana services.

Funeral services were held at Memphis' Temple Israel and Stern was later buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Besides his parents, he was survived by two younger brothers.

Andrew Stern mostly grew up in Arlington Heights, a Chicago suburb. A childhood friend told a Chicago-area newspaper, "He was an energetic kid, always on the go, the loudest kid on the block," Lowey said. "You always knew when Andy was on the block."

He went to Culver Military Academy in Indiana, graduating in 1998. His rowing coach at Culver, said Stern "was a team player who was concerned about others and wanted to helped them along." Stern spent four years on the rowing team and was a co-captain in his senior year, when he was on the quadruple scull team that won the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship. That led to an invitation to the U.S. Rowing Youth Invitational Championship. Stern went on to be captain of the college rowing team at the University of Tennessee.

His family re-located to Germantown, Tennessee when his father had a job transfer. Andrew Stern attended the University of Tennessee, where he joined the Marines, in 2001, through the "Platoon Leaders Corps." He got his officer's commission in December, 2001.

His father told the Associated Press, "He was rambunctious from the get-go. But he became as good a son as there could be."

His mother said, "He chose a path that I would not have chosen for him, but I was very proud of him just the same....He was a challenging child. He definitely challenged us. Very active. Kept us very busy, inquisitive, bright. He had a mind of his own. He learned to challenge all of those skills into becoming a wonderful leader."

His mother noted that just before her son shipped out he said that "he appreciated people's prayers for his safety, but added, 'If you're going to pray for me, pray for my platoon. It's very important to me to bring my platoon home.'"

Sadly, Lt. Stern never had a chance to ride a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was waiting for him at home after his tour in Iraq ended.

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This piece, in shorter forms, has appeared in several Jewish newspapers. The author, Nate Bloom, writes a celebrity news column for the Detroit Jewish News, Baltimore Jewish Times, New Jersey Jewish Standard, Cincinnati American Israelite, and JWeekly of San Francisco. He is also the editor of Jewhoo.com The site is now being brought on-line. Starting November 11 or 12, the old home page will be replaced with a blog type page in which there will be daily news of Jewish interest---principally about Jews in the arts and sciences, with a lot of popular culture news. A little down the road, the full Jewhoo site, featuring biographical information on famous Jews will come on-line again.

© 2005, Nate Bloom.