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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

Johnson & Job

By Rabbi Joshua Hess




Is it Appropriate to Blame the Almighty for a Missed Catch?



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you follow sports, there's a fairly good chance you saw -- either on cable and broadcast TV or courtesy of YouTube -- one of the most devastating missed sports opportunities of recent weeks.

In a tense match that ran into overtime, Steve Johnson, the wide receiver of the Buffalo Bills, dropped what would have been the winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Following that sort of embarrassment, most of us would have hidden in shame. Not Johnson. He wasn't afraid. At the post game press conference, he walked up to the podium to face the media's scrutiny. Johnson spoke from the heart: "I had the game in my hands and I dropped it". He described himself as "humbled".

It was an impressive display of courage and bravery from a young man willing to deal publicly with such an unfortunate ordeal. Johnson handled himself -- and the situation --with class and dignity. At least initially.

Not a few hours later, the athlete's disposition changed markedly. Call it a case of "Johnson & Johnson".

In a tweet to the Almighty, yes, the Divine Himself, the Bill's wide receiver typed: "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…"

Many in the media were highly critical of Johnson. He was mocked for actually believing that the Master of the Universe cared even a whit about his fumbled football game. Aren't there, the pundits opinionated, so many more serious and important events going on in the world?

The criticisms targeted at Johnson were misguided.

Johnson's tweet was nothing more than a classic example of someone experiencing grief and loss in its acute stage. While Johnson's emotions were raw and his feelings of failure were fresh, he cried out to G0d and asked, "Why? Why did you do that to me?" Johnson, like many, (myself included) believes that G0d is not an abstract entity that we merely pay lip service to. Rather, He's invested in every part of our daily lives. Johnson cried out to the Almighty as someone who felt that he was being shortchanged. You don't become angered or frustrated at someone or something imaginary.

Was Johnson allowed to be angry at G0d? Sure. Job was angry at G0d for the way in which he was stricken with terrible tragedy after tragedy. He called out to G0d in anger and questioned His decisions. Surprisingly, G0d did not get angry back at Job. In fact, He ultimately restored Job's wealth and humanity twofold. The only people G0d became angry with were Job's friends who were incapable of giving him sound advice!


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It is not a crime, nor is it inappropriate, to be angry with G0d. In fact, at the moment of greatest hurt it is quite normal and healthy to express anger and resentment towards G0d. What is wrong, though, is to stop believing in G0d. Job never stopped believing in Him; he remained true and committed to his Creator throughout the ups and downs of his life. Johnson too, didn't give up on G0d. Indeed, he finished his initial tweet to G0d with the words, "Thanks though," which indicates that he recognized that G0d was in charge, and yet, wasn't resigning from his faith.

Based on Johnson's subsequent tweets and his status update on Facebook, his theology matches my understanding:

"I learned A lot Within 24hrs. Saw Both Sides.(Ups&Dwns) I AM HAPPY & THANKFUL 4 YESTERDAY! w/out Sunday iWldnt have grew closer w/The Lord!!"

"And No I Did Not Blame G0d People! Seriously??!? CMon! I Simply Cried Out And Asked Why? Jus Like yal did wen sumthin went wrong n ur life!"

"So Before Yall..well I'm pretty sure you've awready judged me. I hope you guys look n the mirror. I dnt blame u 4 being mad @ my gm I WAS 2!"

And the note on Facebook:

"FB fam … please dont take my twitter comment out of context. I know as well as anyone the gifts & opportunities G0d has provided me & my family. I am humbled by the lessons he has taught me these past two days & will continue to praise G0d, be strong in my faith, & thank him for all that he has & will continue to provide me & my family."

From a religious perspective, Steve Johnson was simply expressing the same sentiments as Job. Blaming G0d for causing him to miss a catch is a perfectly acceptable complaint for those who believe that G0d is involved with every aspect of their lives. People who claim that G0d has more important things to worry about than making sure that Steve Johnson catches a football are entitled to their opinion. I believe that G0d has a vested interest in each and every one of us and is constantly and closely monitoring all the inhabitants of the world at one time.

For Johnson, this was a significant and traumatic event which could affect his psyche and confidence for the rest of his life. G0d worries about everyone and everything, even the small and immaterial concerns.

I applaud Johnson for staying true to himself and for staying true to his religion and his beliefs. Continue to keep the faith, Steve, and you'll be rewarded twofold!

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JWR contributor Rabbi Joshua Hess is spiritual leader of Congregation Anshe Chesed, a growing, friendly, and inclusive Orthodox Shul, in Linden, NJ.

Previously:


Running up the score: Is it kosher?
Brett, it's time

© 2010, Rabbi Joshua Hess