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December 2, 2014

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 March 20, 2008 13 Adar II 5768

Know Thy Founding Fathers: Flesh, Blood and Real History on the TV Screen

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are times when it's OK to surrender to the popular culture. Alas, such occasions are all too rare. But here's such a time. Everyone who decries the young Americans in school and university who "don't know much about history" should invite one or two (or more) of these deprived youngsters to gather in front a television set to watch the continuing seven-part HBO series "John Adams."


The first two episodes suggest there's something for everyone to like (and to nitpick) in this fine drama, taken from the lives of the Founding Fathers leading up to Philadelphia and beyond. This is an authentic breakthrough event to watch with the children.


We see flesh and blood characters, incorporating their best instincts to take risks in order to establish a democracy. We're reminded how it required intelligence and bravery to forge the new nation. Patriotism here is not an empty word, nor is flag-waving a self-aggrandizing gesture.


Abigail Adams is here as our First Feminist, counseling her husband to give women their say, his closest confidant making her case with a strong intellect radiating through roles of wife, mother, and wise adviser. She speaks out against slavery and derides the viewpoints of John's "Southern friends," knowing how crucial the importance of principle is, even in a lost cause. (She offers no reference to the Massachusetts men, including her father, who own slaves.) She melts household pewter into bullets for the revolution, because there is no time to dwell on the impossible.


The changes we have made throughout our history depend first on the foundation these colonists lay for the "more perfect union." This is where — as Barack Obama reminded us this week in his speech attempting to defuse the controversy over his association with his race-baiting pastor — our union grows stronger. "And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the 221 years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia," he said, "that is where the perfection begins." Or, more to the point, it's the attempt at perfection.


In the Continental Congress, debates rage over going to war against the mother country. John Dickinson, a Quaker delegate from Pennsylvania, speaks eloquently of the brutality of war, and counsels conciliation in arguments that might be employed today in opposition to the war in Iraq. Benjamin Franklin prevails in counseling for compromise — persuading Dickinson to be conveniently indisposed when the vote is taken — and understands conciliation as the route to unity. When Franklin edits Thomas Jefferson's ringing "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" to the even more memorable "We hold these truths to be self-evident," we see the value of a good editor, even for Jefferson.


No decision is reached without a bow to complexity. Early on, John Adams decides to defend British soldiers accused of killing five colonists because no one else would defend them, and he believed they had a right to a fair trial. He knew it would make him unpopular. Such a pudgy patriot, persuading with thoughtful and precise language, seems hardly credible in our age of the edgy image, where candidates for president are measured by the media as "rock stars." No frills were needed in Philadelphia when the delegates finally voted without fanfare to sever themselves from Britain: "The resolution passes." We feel the magnitude of the decision only because we know how the story ends.


The current fashion of politicians in trouble resigning from office in order "to spend more time with my family" could be measured here by the authentic. The Adams family shows real sorrow, loneliness and anger as it sacrifices the consolations of the family hearth for public matters of state. "I hate Congress," says young Charles Adams, watching his father gallop off again to Philadelphia.


Purists quibble over liberties taken with the facts, showing, for example, John Adams with his cousin Sam Adams (to be memorialized on a beer bottle), standing in the crowd as a British customs collector is stripped naked, tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. It didn't happen, but it could have. And the dramatic moment demonstrates how the future president saw the insensate power of mob rule, and he understood the discipline required to harness the ferocity of angry men in order to make a legitimate fight for freedom. John Adams never gave up worrying about the vulnerability of a democracy.


The laconic George Washington and shy Jefferson sometimes appear as bit players to Adams' Hamlet. But this is the story of the man from Massachusetts, who, more than most, made independence happen. The series, based on David McCullough's prize-winning biography, might even whet the appetite of both parents and children to learn more. They could find more together. It's in the book.

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