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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 Jan. 4, 2007 / 14 Teves, 5767

The madness of crowds

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There has always been something indecent about the revenge a mob takes on a tyrant once it is safe to do so.


The squalid scene was replayed last week. There was the air of expectation as Saddam Hussein, now a dead man walking, approached the gallows. The celebrations were about to begin in Baghdad, Basra and throughout Iraq's Shi'ite belt. Iraqi exiles the world over had already begun to party.


When the death watch was finally concluded and the news came, it was followed by cheers and the customary bursts of submachine fire on festive occasions in those latitudes.


Such scenes are scarcely confined to the Middle East. How little history, and bloodlust, change. Think of the drawing and quartering of Cromwell's decayed corpse, or the drunken impulse to dance on Hitler's grave if only one could find it. A long line of such images burn in the mind:

  • The head of Charles I being waved to the madding crowd after he had gone to "where no disturbance can be."

  • Sir Thomas More tipping his executioner for doing him this last service. Sir Thomas was a properly reluctant saint, loving life and hiding in the thickets of English law as long as he could put off his fatal confrontation with the Crown — and the man was no mean lawyer. In the end he chose to save his soul rather than his head. But always the gentleman, he would leave this world without shorting the help.

  • Somewhere in the archives there are still those grainy photographs of the bullet-riddled bodies of Mussolini and little Clara Petacci hung upside down from a post in Milan for the edification and spittle of the crowd. Only a few years before the crowd had been cheering Il Duce whenever he would jut his jaw.


For the Crowd is more than a collection of people; it has a mindless life cycle of its own, like some primitive unicellular excretion that surrounds its prey with adulation, then devours it.


The mob lurks just beneath the surface of any society. It doesn't so much hear of an impending execution but smell it. And the orgy of celebration is on. The champagne is being opened even before the guest of honor has swung.


Only later will the historians try to make sense of it all — with uneven results.


Scholars yet unborn doubtless will write still more biographies of figures like Cromwell and Thomas More; their kind will fascinate as long as history does. Charles I will remain in his exceptional place in English history, that continuing thesis against revolution, and Mussolini may rate another monograph or two.


(Let us pray that the absence of political executions from American annals, marked as they regularly are by the peaceful exchange of power, will continue to distinguish this republic, as opposed to a People's Republic.)


No historian may ever be able to unwrap the mystery of how a Hitler could have driven a whole nation mad — at the time probably the most advanced industrial nation in the world. But curious scholars will keep trying to explain it.


As for the late Saddam Hussein, it's hard to imagine how a biography of him would differ much from that of any other Middle Eastern despot. His kind is as common in those fatal latitudes as thieves in Baghdad, or sand fleas in the surrounding desert.


His was the story of one more thug who once could do away with friends and associates — even family — once he tired of them. He might have them executed in the most gruesome ways as an example to others. No one but his own still fanatical followers will waste tears on Saddam Hussein, or vow revenge for his more than deserved death.


However welcome justice may be, let there be no celebrating such an end. How can we celebrate the death of any man, we who are mortal ourselves?


Rather let us mourn others — the innocent victims of this never-ending war blown apart in some marketplace we will never hear of, or the young Pfc. from some wide place in the road who responded when his country called and gave it whatever he had. Like so many who have sacrificed so that the rest of us might breathe free — and see the light of the next dawn unafraid. And take it as our due, never noticing the price.


Lest we forget, there's still a war on, its outcome by no means sure. Our fighting men and women are well aware of that, whether they are in Iraq or Afghanistan or waiting to go there. This country has more pressing business right now than cheering the end of a tyrant who no longer matters, and who hasn't mattered for some time. For in war, as an American general named MacArthur said, there is no substitute for victory — and that includes jubilation.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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