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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Jan. 2, 2006 / 12 Teves, 5767

New Year designs for happiness

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Soon we'll begin breaking all those New Year's resolutions, all in the pursuit of happiness. We've promised to strive to be better, kinder, smarter and maybe most important of all, thinner. We're in constant pursuit of the magic formula to correct our personal failures, and of course the failures of others.


Nothing is more American than the pursuit of happiness. We're entitled: It's even in the Declaration of Independence. For some of us, health is happiness. For others, it's beauty. Politicians define success in terms of power and money. (Their own, first.) Children yearn to grow up and adults hope "to grow." But for most of us, happiness is that elusive state that escapes us as soon as we ask the question. "Ask yourself whether you are happy," warned John Stuart Mill, "and you cease to be so."


Nevertheless, happiness is the buzzword for the New Year. Economist magazine makes it the cover story. A surprise best-selling book is "The Architecture of Happiness" by Alain de Botton, examining the way our houses and buildings affect mood and emotion.


Economists are beginning to regard "gross national happiness" as seriously as they talk about the gross national product. They're evaluating the nature of accumulated "experiences" along with accumulated goods with exhortations to raise the rate of enjoyment as we reduce the rate of unemployment. David Cameron, the latest leader of the ailing Conservative Party in Britain, the same party Margaret Thatcher once revived with toughness and discipline, talks about "general well being," or the GWB, with the fervor the pols once talked about the economy and national security.


Richard Layard, an economist at the London School of Economics, studied stress felt by the unemployed and concluded that stressful unemployment is no longer Britain's No. 1 social problem. More workers are on the dole not because they can't find work, but because they're too depressed and stressed out to work, or look for work.


Men and women in the West don't appear to be any happier than their parents were in that much maligned decade of the 1950s. We work less, live longer, travel more, enjoy greater leisure time and enjoy better health, but on average we're not happier.


Rising expectations are part of the problem as luxuries become necessities, but like frustrated seekers of love, seekers of happiness may be looking in all the wrong places. The trendiest formula for happiness may be the old advice to "go with the flow," based on the ideas expressed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychology professor at Claremont College whose books suggest achieving "optimal experiences" through the attention and concentration that make you forget what you're doing so you can enjoy the sheer pleasure of the adventure.


You won't find formulas or recipes for happiness, but happiness emerges when a person who stretches for excellence in personal endeavor is so absorbed in the experience that nothing else seems to matter. The professor draws on a variety of examples — the athlete who performs effortlessly with skills honed in hours of painful practice, the scientist absorbed in an experiment applying hundreds of hours of study and reflection, the mother immersed in her child's reading recitation after years of teaching the child letters and sounds. It's what the poet William Butler Yeats meant when he wrote of watching a body swaying to music so beautifully that he could not "know the dancer from the dance."


Such connections are rarely found in the modern workplace. Contemporary researchers in sociology, psychology and business management find that workers use their expanded leisure time now to escape reality rather than expand it. Television, the Internet, electronic games and spectator sports are engaging, but require the flutter of constant change and short attention spans, which are enemies of creative insight. Post-modern marketing is fragmented, too. Chris Anderson, author of "The Long Tail" and a prophet of profits, calls this "the shattering of the mainstream into a zillion different cultural shards."


Alain de Botton, the Swiss-born critic of architecture, finds architectural designs in fragments too. If, as he suggests, "buildings speak," many of them speak with forked tongues, the equivalent of the biblical towers of Babel: "The failure of architects to create congenial environments mirrors our inability to find happiness in other areas of our lives." They denigrate nature rather than imitate it.


"We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kind of happiness." Well, Happy New Year, and to the worms and trees, too.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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