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 April 5, 2005 / 25 Adar II, 5765

The difference between Jews and Judaism

By Rabbi Avi Shafran

The Schiavo tragedy highlighted an unfortunately little known and often misunderstood aspect about Jewry

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The phone began ringing here at Agudath Israel of America mere hours after we released a statement asking Michael Schiavo to spare his wife's life.

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We asked the late Terri Schiavo's husband to "recognize that what a court may consider legal can still constitute a grave violation of a higher law," and pointed out that "none of us can claim to know what constitutes a meaningful existence," and that "all of us have a responsibility to preserve even severely compromised life."

Our statement appeared in some media, primarily newspapers servicing the Orthodox Jewish community, like the weekly Yated Ne'eman and the daily Hamodia. But it also found its way onto the popular website JewishWorldReview.com as well as one maintained by supporters of Mrs. Schiavo's parents' struggle to save their daughter's life. Thence ensued the flood of calls.

Some were from observant Jews, gratified that we had articulated a straightforward Jewish take on the matter. But many — in fact, many more — came from non-Jewish Americans, clear across the country.

The callers' accents testified to their geographical diversity; the voices comprised a musical medley of northeastern enunciation, western drawl, mid-west mannerisms and southern comfort. And all were Christians, calling a Jewish organization just to say thank you.

More striking still, though, was something else, the single sentiment voiced, in different words, by a good number of the callers. As one succinctly put it: "You know, I never realized there were Jewish people who cared about 'life' issues."

What those callers meant, of course, was that their impression of Jews — likely culled from the media, as most had probably never met a member of the tribe in person — was of the stereotypical social liberal. And in fact, while most Jewish representatives quoted in the press expressed, properly, the Jewish view that even severely compromised lives may not be regarded as less worthy for their deficits, there were other voices.

Like that of Reconstructionist Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton, who cited Ecclesiastes that "there is a time to be born and a time to die"; her colleague Rabbi David Teutsch equated the food and water sought for Mrs. Schiavo with a respirator, about which, he contended, one can act on "what is in the patient's best interest." Conservative Rabbi Elliott Dorf also characterized a feeding tube as an "extraordinary measure."

And then there were displays of Jewish ambivalence on the issue like the one witnessed by writer David Klinghoffer, who recounted in National Review how, during a talk at a Conservative synagogue, he lauded Christian support for Mrs. Schiavo's continued nutrition and "the crowd reacted with a sharp intake of breath, shocked murmurs as if I'd said a kind word about the Spanish Inquisition."

Maybe my callers had such reactions in mind. But I think their assumption that Jews, G-d forbid, do not adequately value life owed less to any reaction to the Schiavo case than to many Jewish organizations' attitude toward the termination of fetal life as a "woman's right." And for that, unfortunately, there is ample evidence. Jewish clergy and organizations regularly fall over one another to see who might more loudly champion the preservation of Roe v. Wade, the hallowed "right" to an act that Jewish law forbids in no uncertain terms in all but rare circumstances.

All the same, I explained to the callers — as I did to a national talk-show host when he expressed a similar sentiment to theirs — that the Jewish community is more variegated than is often assumed, and that, in any event, more important than what any Jews may think about a particular "life" issue is what Judaism does.

There may still be perfectly sound reasons for some Jews to take liberal positions on social matters, even on end-of-life issues or abortion. But if they do, their reasons are personal, social, economic or political, not Jewish — not, that is, reflective of the Jewish religious heritage.

And that distinction is all the more vital in light of something that is occurring with increasing and disturbing frequency: the active misrepresentation, even by ostensible representatives of the Jewish community, of Judaism's teachings on vital issues. Whether through the portrayal of the Torah's attitude toward homosexual relations as flexible; or of its position on intermarriage as tentative; or of its stance on killing the unborn as benign, political correctness in Jewish clothing abounds, and it does violence to the integrity of all Jews' religious heritage.

Reflecting on my fleeting telephone acquaintances makes me want to plead with all the Jewish clergy, columnists, organizations and pundits who have strong feelings about social issues: Advocate to your hearts' content. Make whatever case you see fit for whatever you feel is the wisest public policy. But please don't mischaracterize our mutual religious tradition. Have the courage, whatever your personal convictions, to show respect for the timeless Torah to which all we Jews are heir.

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

JWR contributor Rabbi Avi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005 Am Echad Resources