In this issue
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 23, 2011 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Treating people we love like the Jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner

By Sharon Randall

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Traditions are like the people who try to keep them: Sooner or later, like it or not, they change.

Growing up, I spent most Thanksgivings at the home of my grandparents eating ham (not turkey), green beans (not broccoli), candied yams (not mashed potatoes), pecan pie (not pumpkin, and never apple) and chasing my squirrelly cousins around the house.

Once a week or so, my mother and her mother would have a big falling-out and stop speaking to each other, a sticky situation that my granddad described as the social equivalent of a fistfight in an outhouse.

If the falling-out fell near a holiday, my mother would refuse to show up for the family gathering. We'd either stay home or, worse, go have dinner with my stepfather's mother (who looked just like my stepfather in a flowered dress) and his other kin, who were decent enough people, but different.

I didn't want different. On holidays, I wanted everything and everybody to stay the same. But I couldn't wait to change all the other days of the year.

Growing up is a tug-of-war between the old and the new, the familiar and the strange, the safety of home and the lure of what lies beyond the horizon.

At 19, when I left my family in the South to spend all my days in California, I didn't realize that would also mean holidays.

Every Thanksgiving I'd call my mother long distance and get an earful of what I had missed. By then, my grandmother had gone to her "reward." They weren't fighting anymore, but they still weren't speaking much, either.

"If I could have her back for just one day," my mother said, "things would be different."

Different? Really? What do you think? Given a second chance, would things have been better between them? Would they have chosen their battles more carefully? Laughed harder and argued less? If they had realized their days together were numbered, would they have been slower to take offense and quicker to offer grace?

Sometimes we treat people we love like the Jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner. It's easy to take them for granted. We don't miss them until they're gone.

My traditions, like my life, have changed over the years. I suspect yours might have, too.

When my children were growing up, we celebrated the holidays with their dad's family. After he died, we began staying home, or rather, I stayed and the kids came to me. We invited friends to join us, and pretty soon Thanksgiving turned into a great big, two-turkey wingding.

Years later, when I remarried, my new husband pitched in with cooking and carving and cleanup. His two boys joined us, and the celebration kept growing.

Then a job change moved us to another state, and once again, our traditions changed.

This year we'll gather at the home of my youngest and his wife and their 15-month-old, who's about the size of one of the turkeys I'll stuff. Joining us will be the newest addition to the family: My 2-month-old grandson, who's about the size of the Jello salad his mother insists I have to make.

It will be different in some ways from every Thanksgiving I have known, but this much, at least, will remain the same.

I will set two tables for all the people I hold dear: One in the dining room for those who'll be with me; and one in my heart for those who will not.

I'll eat too much, laugh too loud and count my blessings, giving thanks for the gift of family and friends and the awareness of numbered days.

To you and yours from me and mine, happy Thanksgiving.

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