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 August 20, 2008 / 19 Menachem-Av 5768

Ghosts I have known

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It could have been a scene out of "Ghostbusters," only instead of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, it featured Alan Lowe, 55, of Roland, Ark., and his volunteers from Spirit Seekers Paranormal Investigation Research and Intervention Team. ("Where the Here and the Hereafter Meet," to quote his business card.)

Instead of wandering around the New York Public Library, these Arkansas ghostbusters were spending most of a dark if not stormy night in the friendly confines of the state Capitol, which must get a little spooky after the lights go out. Those long, echoing marble halls are a little scary even in broad daylight, especially when you remember some of the legislation that's been sneaked through those premises.

Mr. Lowe and his impressive team of eight came fully equipped with video and audio equipment, though not the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance, aka Ecto-1, featured in the movie. Or even the particle accelerators that toasted my favorite character, the huge Stay Puft Marshmallow man. Ummm,he would have been delicious over a campfire complete with, natch, ghost stories.

So what did these intrepid Spirit Seekers come across during their eight-hour sojourn in the state Capitol on a Saturday night? Voices so faint they couldn't be heard with the unaided ear. Floating orbs with comet tails. Sounds like the psychic remains of some appropriations bills that should have been dead on arrival.

There were no signs of Slimer or the Terror Dogs from the movie, but the Capitol is still under psychic investigation. "We're still reviewing," says Mr. Lowe, Spirit Seeker No. 1, "but there's something paranormal in there." And the Legislature's not even in session.

The great god Gozer of Ghostbusters fame wasn't encountered during the night, but there were a couple of actual sightings and soundings. A spectral figure, after a grunt or two, identified himself as "Edward," and another, on being asked if he'd been a state senator, pleaded innocent. "Real lightly and faint in the background," reports Mr. Lowe, "you can hear 'No.' "

It couldn't have been Arkansas' own Jeff Davis, the Wild Ass of the Ozarks, who never spoke lightly and faintly about anything. Especially the state Capitol. In the early years of the last century, that legendary senator and governor was not at all eager to build a new Capitol in the image of the federal one — and on the site of the old state penitentiary at that. (Talk about inviting ghosts!)

To quote my favorite riff from that populist Demosthenes:

"The Helena World says that I'm a carrot-haired, red-faced, load-mouthed [sic], strong limbed, ox-driving mountaineer lawyer. That I'm a friend to the fellow that brews 40-rod bug juice back in the mountains. Now, I have a little boy, G-d bless him, and if I find that boy is a smart boy, I will go and make a preacher out of him. If I find that he's not so smart, I'm going to make a lawyer out of him, but if I find he has not a bit of sense on this earth, I'm going to make an editor out of him and send him to Little Rock to edit the Arkansas Democrat."

Not till Louisiana's Huey Long came along was there a more entertaining demagogue on the rollicking American scene than Arkansas' Jeff Davis. Naturally he was careful not to correct any unreconstructed Arkansas voter who might confuse him with the Jefferson Davis of Confederate fame. To quote one of his avid followers, "Not only is he a great man, but a mighty long-lived one!"

But any comparison to Huey Long is unfair. Of course the Kingfish would be able to tell more stories about political corruption, being from Louisiana and all.

As for ghosts I have known in my time, I can't be sure that's what they were. (The headline on this column was just to get your attention.) My ghosts were certainly not frightening. Anything but. I suspect they weren't ghosts at all but angels, for the ones I've encountered emanated nothing but pure love and care.

I'm thinking of a recurrent vision I used to have of my grandmother peeking in my bedroom door to check on me the way she used to do when I was a child. Then there was that conversation with my long since departed grandfather after I'd had too much of the sabbath wine and was doing a vigorous hora at a religious retreat. It was as if these ghosts had come to assure me that all was well in this world, and the next.

As an old black man down in Louisiana once told me, "It ain't the dead folks who'll hurt you."

He had a point. It's the living who scare me.

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