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 June 16, 2008 / 13 Sivan 5768

Moment of truth

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is no test of character quite like running for public office. For in any political race of consequence, there always comes that moment of truth when the candidate must decide just how far he will go to curry favor with the voters. How much principle, or just simple dignity, is he willing to sacrifice?

That's the moment aficionados of moral drama look for. It reveals so much. About character, about the awful wanting to win, about the person's moral priorities versus the candidate's sheer ambition.

In the quadrennial passion that is an American presidential election, there will always be those who conceive of their candidate as perfect in every way. Listen to the messianic nominating speeches at national conventions. Hear the roar of the adoring crowd. Remember the wave of Obamamania that swept the country earlier this year? People get swept away.

It's natural enough. There is something in the human condition that wants to worship something better than ourselves, that demands The Hero, and if there isn't one available, we'll invent one. We can see a Sir Galahad in a ward-heeler.

In our calmer moments, we know it is unrealistic to look for saints in politics, which is very much of this world. ("One always picks the easy fight/ One praises fools, one smothers light/ One shifts from left to right/ Politics, the art of the possible." —"Evita") Compromise is at the calculating heart of politics, and needs to be.

But it is also possible to compromise overmuch. The aspiring politician is always in danger of losing his way in that treacherous place where ambition and morality collide. At a certain moment, principle may be sacrificed, integrity lost. And such moments tend to recur in a pressure-filled presidential contest.

Barack Obama passed such a test earlier in this campaign. With style and grace. That's when some embarrassing videos of his long-time pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, surfaced. They were full of racist nonsense: AIDS is a government plot to destroy the black race, God Damn America, and so tiringly on. It was a test: How was Barack Obama, the Reverend's loyal congregant of 20 years, going to react?

Sen. Obama rose to the occasion, or rather above it. He deplored what his preacher had said, but he would not turn his back on the man who had brought him into the church, officiated at his wedding, and baptized his children. He might hate the sin, but he would love the sinner. Good Christian doctrine all around. He would not disown his church or his pastor, any more than he would his family. As he put it in a speech that soon became known as The Speech:

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me."

Well and loyally said.

But we are not tested just once. It wasn't long before another demagogue in a clerical collar, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, showed up at Barack Obama's church to deliver his own rant. This time it was an ugly, jeering attack on Hillary Clinton as the embodiment of white entitlement. How the guest speaker strutted and fretted his brief hour on the stage, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, appealing to the basest prejudices of his listeners, stoking their anger, stroking their hatreds like a virtuoso. This from a priest. In a church.

That must have been the breaking point. Barack Obama's political career had prospered mightily by his association with his church. It gave him a power base in the African American community. But by now his church membership had become not a political asset but an ever growing liability. He announced he was leaving the church.

So much for his not abandoning his church, his family, his community. His classic speech back in the spring had become inoperative. The political cost of sticking by his earlier eloquence had become too high. It was time to cut his losses. Politics happens.

I can understand the senator's temptation. I think of not just the partisan gibberish I've heard from the pulpit of my own temple over the years, but the moral affronts. (Three Cheers for Abortion!) What contempt for what I'd always understood to be of the essence of Jewish teaching — Choose Life.

So, yes, I can understand how tempting it would be to walk away, give up, find a new congregation. Then I think of what a sage named Hillel said long ago: Do not separate yourself from the community. Resist the temptation. Stay and fight. Bear witness. Take your stand within the community, not apart from it. What good is a cloistered virtue that shrinks from any challenge? A uniformity of belief may be comfortable, without challenge or risk, but it's also debilitating. Belief unquestioned does not grow; it atrophies. So I choose to stay. Of course I'm not a politician, and Barack Obama has a lot more to lose by staying with his church.

This was but one early test of the candidate's principles, one more moment of truth in a long campaign that will surely be full of them. Others will arise. Such is politics. Such is life.

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