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 Nov. 13, 2009 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5770


By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With age comes an increased awareness of what used to be. Mental pictures from the distant past grow sharper, more in focus almost than more recent events. The images are clear; the voices strong and resonant; and the tastes and smells are as keen as ever. I've come to understand that what has gone by is not really gone at all; it is, all of it, still here within me, within reach. I have only to give over my mind, allowing a slight opening for the images to enter and there they are - rich and precious and alive.

Vivid memories such as these do not visit themselves upon the young and middle-aged adult so much, undoubtedly because at those ages one's head is filled with too many thoughts of the present and future to accommodate the past. But once the future has been dealt with, once the present becomes commonplace, the mind relaxes and welcomes back the old friends, family, and places that used to be. The past which was at one time the present has returned to the fore. Those details of my life that had been preserved and locked away for safe keeping are released, taking their rightful place as significant events in my mind.

Celebrations such as birthdays, holidays, and vacations are there as are some less happy times, though not as many. The mind has a way of filtering out a lot of negative episodes and retaining the positive ones. My first real kiss is sharper in my mind than is the day I went downtown to the induction center to take my selective service physical.

The images in my head of my mother and father are among the most cherished. Once again I hear their voices, I see their faces, and I can still feel their arms around me. In my mental pictures they are healthy and happy. My father telling jokes. My mother singing Yiddish folk songs. Singing and laughing. They had a healthy capacity for laughter and they liked to make me laugh with them.

I see my brother and sister, not the way they look now, the way they looked when they were young. Here comes my little sister running after me, wanting to be a part of everything I did. After mom and dad I was the one she ran to for, well, for anything I guess. And there's my little brother giggling as I tickle his belly. He had the sweetest laugh.

I see my wife on the day I married her. She was so beautiful and so very happy. Her eyes sparkled that day and her infectious smile was reflected back from every face in attendance. I remember holding her in my arms, dancing with her, thinking I'd want to hold her like this for the rest of my life. She never left my side that day even though the place was swarming with relatives.

Places and events find their way into the corners of my mental scrapbook such as my grandparents' house, my kindergarten classroom, my father's old Buick and all the houses I lived in growing up. I can see myself swimming in our pool completely outfitted with the snorkel, diving mask, and swim fins I was given as an elementary school graduation present.

Ultimately it is the everyday, non-event events which pop into mind, such as sitting with my father in front of the television laughing at Laurel and Hardy movies on a Saturday morning. Or mom's grilled cheese sandwiches made in a cast-iron sandwich making contraption which sat on a range top burner and toasted the sandwiches in the shape of a flying saucer. And with a bowl of tomato soup on the side there was no better tasting lunch.

Smells from the past linger in my mind. Everyone's house smells different, did you know that? Each of my relatives' houses had their own unique odor. The best smells came out of my mother's kitchen. And my Uncle Donald's restaurant had wonderful smells, unlike any other restaurant I've been in since. Mom and Dad each had their own personal scents. Warm, comforting, safe scents. And as individual as fingerprints.

I'm grateful for what I can recall although I wish I could remember more than I do. I'm not complaining mind you. I realize there are many who have lost their ability to remember anything at all and that is terribly sad. The storehouse of memories which come to play with me in my quiet times is the true treasure of my life which no amount of earthly possessions could possibly match. Sounds corny, but it just happens to be a fact.

In life it's an important thing to look to the future, it keeps you going, gives you something to look forward to, a reason to get up in the morning. It's just as important to live in the present, to live everyday as if it were your last, making every hour count for something. But the person who doesn't take pleasure in his past is like a person who works all his life and puts nothing away for retirement. He has an empty bank account.

My own personal photo album is conveniently located in the bank vault right here in my head. It is an annuity like no other and such a nice warm comforting place to visit, especially when the cold winds of the present kick up.

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

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby