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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)

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Chosen Words


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A newsletter for personal and spiritual growth gleaned from classic biblical and other sources that will help you enhance your day to day life. Likely the most constructive three minutes you will spend today



Personal Growth

THE WINNER

A famous football coach is widely quoted for his slogan: "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." Generally, the world accepts that judgment.


The also-rans and wannabees can never achieve the status of those who make it.


But then there's Jonathan, the son of King Saul.


Jonathan spent his life working toward three goals, and he failed to meet any of them.


He wanted to make peace between his father and King David; instead, the rift grew ever more bitter. He wanted to protect King David; instead, David spent years fleeing for his life. He wanted to serve King David when he assumed the throne; instead, he died before King David's reign began, in a losing battle against the Philistines.


Yet the story of Jonathan is the only haftorah that is repeated several times in the yearly cycle. It is read whenever Rosh Chodesh (the new Hebrew month) falls on Sunday, pushing aside the regularly scheduled haftorah for that week. Rosh Chodesh is briefly mentioned in the reading, but the story appears to have no other relevance to the inauguration of a new month.


A deeper look, however, reveals that Jonathan is the perfect model for us as we begin a new month.


As on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are obligated on Rosh Chodesh to consider our deeds and resolve to improve. But on a monthly basis, this cycle of resolutions and failures can become overwhelming and depressing.


How many times a year can one re-energize to try again?


The story of Jonathan is there to give us that energy. He tries; he fails. But we learn that in Heaven, his efforts earn him an eternal crown. When one's intentions are for the Divine, when one's actions are for the sake of Heaven, there is no wasted effort. The Divine alone determines whether our efforts will result in success, but for a Jew, trying is both everything and the only thing.

— Adapted from "What's Wrong With Being Human?" by Rabbi Yisroel Miller with permission from Mesorah Publications


Better Relationships

SHOWING YOUR FACE

Eli walked into the bakery on a Friday morning and resigned himself to a long wait in the line that snaked around the store. Fortunately, he noticed that right in front of him stood his old neighbor Aaron.


"Aaron," he called. Aaron turned around halfway, gave Eli a weak smile and a weaker handshake, and said, "Hi." Then he turned back around.


The rest of the wait was torturous for Eli, as he dealt with the rejection and wondered what he had done to cause it. Meanwhile, Aaron continued to stew about an argument he had just had with his partner, completely unaware of the chain reaction he had set off in his old friend.


Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) instructs us: "V'hevei mikabeil es kol ho'odom b'seiver panim yafos," "Greet every person with a pleasant countenance."


Rabbi Avigdor Miller explains that the key words in this verse are also the key to personal relations. "Seiver" refers to the forehead, which smooth or furrowed, expresses our thoughtful concern toward someone. "Panim," face, means turning one's whole face toward people. And "yafos" is the beauty of a smile.


Even when preoccupied, using these three ingredients tells others that you value them. A proper greeting leaves no room for misinterpretation, no feeling of rejection. It keeps open the channels of love and kindness that are the essence of being Jewish.


Life's Lessons

JUST FOR THE MITZVAH

Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin was walking down the street when he noticed a pauper sitting by the side of the road. He ran to give the man money and began to walk away. But after a few steps, he turned back and handed the man more money.


When asked the reason for giving twice, the rabbi explained: "The first time I gave, it was because I had been moved by pity for his plight. The second time, it was completely with the intention of fulfilling the mitzvah (religious duty) of giving charity."


There are times when we are filled with inspiration to perform a certain mitzvah. Then there are times we are not. Rabbi Moshe of Korbin illustrates that, while inspiration can move us in the right direction, it should not be the prime motivation, because inspiration often fails. Beneath it all, inspired or not, we do what we do to fulfill the Divine's will.

— Adapted from "Something To Say: Insights into the parashah for every occasion" by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser with permission from Mesorah Publications


Inner Excellence

SPEED LIMITS

A young man, sharing remembrances of his beloved uncle, made these simple observations: The uncle, a merchant, tied each customer's package carefully, checked each invoice twice, and "never allowed himself to be rushed."


That final statement, that he never allowed himself to be rushed, is a remarkable one. When there's much to do and little time in which to do it, how does one choose whether or not to be rushed?


As a result of all the "labor saving" devices our generation enjoys — the fax, beeper, cell phone, e-mail — the interval between thinking and doing, considering and acting, wanting and getting, has become infinitely briefer.


Not only do we demand instant response, we feel that we too must respond to every demand instantaneously.


Patience is in short supply. "Stressed out" is a description today not only of a person in crisis, or a heart surgeon who performs life-and-death procedures every day, or a CEO, or a world leader.


It's a description of normal life for normal, average people.


And if this is the case, there's cause for alarm. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato wrote that one of the most effective strategies the Evil Inclination,yetzer hara, has is to keep a person in a state of tumult. With no time to contemplate one's choices, mistakes are inevitable.


So how does one refuse to allow himself to be rushed? By recognizing the difference between being busy and being rushed.


Families, jobs, communal and religious life all create demands. But nothing is gained by entertaining all those demands at once, or by performing any required task in a tense, hurried way.


By refusing to rush, one accomplishes so much more. One rediscovers the satisfaction in the task at hand, and the joy in life.

— Adapted from "Candlelight," by Avi Shulman with permission from Mesorah Publications

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Chosen Words, a newsletter of spiritual and personal growth, is produced by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. Comment by clicking here.

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