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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 Oct. 19, 2007 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

England your England: Shocking row in parliament

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children
—Roger Miller


There'll always be an England, so they say. But you might doubt it after reading about the latest controversy in Parliament. To quote David Stringer's AP dispatch from London: "British lawmakers have been granted the power to move to the head of the line at restaurants, rest rooms and elevators inside the Houses of Parliament, angering those assistants, researchers, janitors and other workers who must stand and wait."


Shocking. But perhaps not because of the reasons Mr. Stringer emphasizes in his story, which paints this dust-up as being about Britain's attachment to democratic equality, or maybe as just another labor dispute: "The workers warn that Parliament is in danger of appearing decidedly undemocratic in allowing the lawmakers, in British parlance, to 'jump the queue.' "


But if there's still an England, it's not the undemocratic aspect of what we Americans call line-breaking that outrages our British cousins, but the break with tradition, with custom, with the unwritten laws of England, high among them: Thou shalt not jump the queue.


The AP's correspondent may be getting warmer when he traces the cause of this difference to the British respect for time-honored ways rather than any allegiance to democracy: "The dispute strikes at the heart of a peculiarly British observance — the sanctity of waiting patiently in line for buses, trains, coffee stands, deli counters — anywhere there is a crowd."


Compare that example of British reserve to the way New Yorkers almost come to blows over who's going to get the next taxi on a rainy night. Or, for that matter, the way privileges are meted out in our own Congress. For a supposedly classless society, there are few places on Capitol Hill where the Honorable Members are not given precedence. American congressmen are assured of their own elevators, dining rooms, entrances and exits, and, of course, their own rest rooms in their own offices.


For all the fine rhetoric about democracy and equality in this country, few institutions are so hierarchical as the Congress of the United States. And yet in Britain's legislative body, even with its separate House of Lords, bewigged officials and ceremonial swords, jumping the queue is simply not done. It's not … cricket.


"It's part of the culture here," said a visiting Frenchman who was interviewed while waiting at a London bus stop. "Jumping a queue is just not very British." Well, of course not, old chap. It goes without saying, and it is the unarticulated imperatives of a society that say most about it — in this case something good. Nothing need be said to justify it. No appeal to reason or egalitarian virtue, or the Rights of Man is necessary. Or even relevant.


English liberties rest not on some blinding insight or abstract code but, like the English common law, they're a product of development over the ages. The result: Some things are simply not done. Bad form, you know.


George Orwell tried to explain — well, describe — such folkways in his little essay, "England Your England," which was first published in February 1941, when no one with any realistic grasp of power in this world would have expected old England to survive the Blitz and the onslaught sure to follow. Orwell began his essay with typical English understatement, noting almost matter-of-factly: "As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me…." That wry observation led him to wondering why nations are different, and why the British are so different:


"Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavor of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person."


In a politically correct age, it may no longer be permissible even to wonder whether there's still an England or any other national culture. Aren't they all supposed to be absorbed by the new, faceless globalism? And yet national traits persist. They are palpable even if we sometimes attribute them to vague abstractions (Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!) rather than the everyday habits of a people.


It is continuity in the seemingly small things that over time creates the complex underpinning of any society. It explains why in England the law may be respected simply because it is the law, and in other countries laws will be widely ignored because it's expected that only fools will follow the rules.


Edmund Burke understood, which is what made him suspicious of sudden, violent changes in the social order like the French Revolution, which was going to produce a whole new society, even a new man. The usual results of such utopian visions followed — first terror, then tyranny.


It isn't an abstract allegiance to democracy that makes the British so British but custom — the accumulated layers of habit, constraint, manners and mores that form the British character in matters great and small, from standing alone against what seemed an unstoppable threat during the Battle of Britain, or at the approach of the Spanish Armada in another time under another queen named Elizabeth, to … simply not jumping the queue.

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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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