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 May 18, 2007 / 1 Sivan, 5767

Pilgrimage: Dinner in Charleston

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | CHARLESTON, S.C. — It's a far piece to go for dinner. That's what William Faulkner is supposed to have said when he declined an invitation to a White House gala in honor of the country's Nobel laureates. What a glittering occasion that must have been. The host, John F. Kennedy, called it the greatest gathering of American intellects since Thomas Jefferson had dined there alone.

Not much for glitter, Mr. Faulkner.

But this gala dinner is in Charleston. Yes, charming, legendary, cultivated, captivating and, let's face it, usually eccentric and occasionally even grotesque Charleston. It all comes with the emotional territory. How could one pass up any chance to visit such a city and legend?

Here it's pronounced Chah-leston. As Mark Twain once noted, the educated Southerner has no use for Rs except at the beginnings of words. At least since it was one of the three literary capitals of the Old South, along with Richmond and New Orleans, there has been only one thing plain about Charleston: It is irresistible. And knows it.

Tonight's dinner is in honor of the bicentennial of Robert E. Lee's birth. And what a festive gathering it proved. From the firing of the antique cannon on Marion Square to the traditional Charlestonian dessert, Charlotte Russe.

The flags are posted this evening by the color guard of the Washington Light Infantry, which is also observing its 200th anniversary this year. Each in its proper place, both Old Glory and the Confederate Battle Flag are presented with due ceremony. It's an unremarked tribute to the continuity of this Republic — despite that brief if bloody interruption circa 1861-65.

The official records of that conflict are still compiled under the title, War of the Rebellion, but only those unreconstructed, North or South, are still prepared to argue over what the Civil War should be called. We long since have become one country again, as General Lee himself urged us to be once the issue was settled. When it was over, he let it be over. That, too, was part of his greatness.

The final, culminating toast of the whole grand evening rings loud:

To Robert Edward Lee of Old Virginia!

There is a pause, and then "Dixie" breaks out like a mighty wave. It lets you know where you are. And that one can celebrate the South without getting hung up on Southernism. Or political correctness. Or any of that other ideological stuff that just gets in the way. Even better than a loud chorus of "Dixie" is a certain shared stillness the mention of his name still evokes in these latitudes.

It's a night to play Old South to beat the band. I first heard that phrase from a bright-eyed lady named Julia Raley, who used to invite me to occasional soirees in her grand, crumbling old manse on Barraque Street in Pine Bluff, Ark. The house is no longer there, with its stately pillars in front, its high ceilings, and the grandfather clock in the hall quietly ticking off the instant past. Yet it still exists, unchanged, in memory. Every time I pass that empty lot, I see it again, beckoning.

"You must come," Miss Julia would implore, her eyes a-twinkle. "We're going to play Old South to beat the band!" It was both promise and caveat, equal parts genuine enthusiasm and shared irony, irresistible invitation and inside joke. Which is the spirit of Charleston, too, at its self-aware best.

Much is said this evening about Lee, the South's beau ideal. His military prowess might be summed up by one, terrible tally: In one single, bloody month of 1864, from May 12 to June 12, from the aftermath of The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, Union casualties under U.S. Grant, no mean general himself, would total 60,000. That number was equal to Lee's entire remaining force at that point.

But in the end, it is neither the victorious nor defeated Lee that explains his aura, but the passionate dispassion of the man, his Greek proportion. What sweeps us away is the Lee who could look down from Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, watch the federals below being obliterated by his guns, take in the sweep of the carnage he himself had engineered, and say: "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it."

After it was over at Gettysburg, in all the smoke and confusion and death and mayhem, when Lee found Pickett roaming the battlefield, a general without his command, for h

is whole division was no more, the only thing Lee said was: "All this was my fault." Not "mistakes were made." Lee did not fuss and fume, or blame Longstreet or the fates. He just went on. To save what he could, and carry on till he could carry on no longer. To do his duty, which was always his lodestar, his guiding light, his consolation.

At a time when the object of public life seems be to avoid responsibility, what a refreshment for someone who has been sentenced to follow the petty tumult called politics day after day, and even expected to say something coherent about it, to think on Lee for one night. It's a pardon.

Lee never wrote his memoirs. He may have been the only Civil War general, great or small, important or un-, who didn't tell his self-absorbed, self-justifying tale for a handsome price. He had no price. He was not for sale. What he had was a code. And he embodied it. Great in victory, he was greater in defeat. Through it all, he remained the same Lee. What Epictetus the Stoic wrote, Lee lived.

Much is said about Robert E. Lee this magical night. Each aspect of his character is extolled. Thank goodness he is present only in spirit; how embarrassed he would have been at such goings-on. One by one, his qualities are praised: honor, civility, compassion, dignity, courage, equanimity . . . and yet they cannot be separated, for he was all of a piece, whole.

Some damyankee once asked Flannery O'Connor, who wrote theology in the guise of stories about grotesque characters, why Southerners seemed to write only about freaks. Because, she explained, we in the South can still recognize a freak when we see one.

I'd like to believe that's still true, but I'm no longer sure, the South having been so modernized, Americanized and generally pressurized by now. But if we still retain any idea of wholeness, maybe it's because we once knew what wholeness was. It was, in a word, Lee.

It is hard to leave Charleston. The General casts a spell no one wants to break. But before departing Charleston, I do get to make the pilgrimage around the Battery, where the proud old houses still stare blankly across the harbor at Sumter, dim on the horizon. The old fort still squats there, like a lesson waiting to be learned again and again: United we stand, divided we destroy each other.

The Battery is lined with oleander bushes that now have come into bloom, beautiful as they are poisonous, a reminder of what goeth before a fall. Everywhere you look in proud old Charleston, there seems to be a lesson.

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