Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Nov. 16, 2007 / 6 Kislev 5768

Two stories

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sit down, make yourself comfortable, have a cup of tea, or maybe something stronger, and let me tell you two stories — one happy, one disturbing. Each with a moral, or at least an attempt at it. Any excuse to tell a good story.


The first features a grandchild of mine. I know, I know, columnists who start writing about their grandchildren should be quietly led off to the Old Columnists' Home. (It's located just this side of Grudge Creek and up the road from Calumnia.) But we can't help ourselves, grandparenthood being what it is. And telling you grandfather stories, Gentle Reader, beats all heck out of telling them to my barber, who keeps interrupting with stories about his own grandchild.


So the other day, while the World Series was still on, my daughter in Boston — actually Newton, Mass., which might as well be Boston — picks up Grandson No. 1, Aviav, from his Jewish day school. Five years old now, he tells her today was Red Sox Day at his school and he wants her to tell him all the rules of baseball. (I myself would love to hear her explain the infield fly rule; it'd be good training for Talmud 101.)


Soon mother and son are back at their house to keep an appointment with a workman. The workman arrives, wearing a noticeable cross around his neck, and proceeds to the basement while little Aviav and his mother settle down for a snack and a talk in the kitchen.


The boy hasn't quite got all the nuances of what was once our national pastime down, but his enthusiasm is boundless. One thing he wants to know is why he's learning about baseball at Maimonides, his orthodox Jewish school. Well, his mother explains, the Red Sox are Boston's team and his teachers (doubtless following Rabbi Hillel's injunction not to separate oneself from the community) want him to love the Red Sox. He gets the point at once: "And Jewish people love the Red Sox!" At which a deep, resonant voice is heard from the basement:


"NOT JUST JEWISH PEOPLE!"


The moral of the story, if you must have one: Only in America.


The second story also features a craftsman, a plumber by trade. I am in my own basement this time, talking to the contractor who's going to fix the water-soaked cabinet in the downstairs bathroom — as soon as the plumber has fixed the leak that caused it.


As one thing leads to another bill, my contractor friend tells me why it was impossible for those airplanes to have brought down the Twin Towers on September 11th, and why it's clear from the way the towers fell — right into their own footprint — that they were imploded. Reputable scholars and engineers agree, he says. It was an inside job, you see, probably by our own government or the people controlling it in order to carry out their diabolical globalization schemes, eliminate national borders, Mexicanize the economy, and generally further their nefarious schemes.


It does sound familiar. I get almost daily e-mails along the same paranoid lines from one of the country's more prominent conspiracy theorists.


My friend is just getting down to the details of what really caused 9/11 when a deep, vibrant voice is heard from under the bathroom sink:


"IT WAS ALL DONE TO PASS THE PATRIOT ACT!"


It's the young plumber. His father, as it happens, has studied biblical prophecies and it's all foretold there.


I don't doubt it, I don't raise any questions, I just lend my silent support once the plumber has spoken. I consider anything a plumber says definitive. Because when you need a plumber, you need a plumber. To cite Greenberg's Law No. 1 of household maintenance: Never argue with a man who can plumb. (This also goes for barbers, at least when they're using the scissors and razor.)


The moral of this story: Re-investigate the attacks of September 11th. Because widespread, unmet doubts about the official explanations will only fuel the vast well of paranoia that has permeated American political, social and religious discourse at least since the Salem witch trials. (Recommended reading: "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" by Richard Hofstadter, a classic in a crowded field.)


The reason those conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination have faded isn't just the passage of time but the regular investigations and re-investigations over the years. When they turned up no substantial basis on which to doubt the Warren Commission's findings, the conspiracy theories disappeared, or at least moved over to make way for new ones.


Yes, there are still True Believers around who would be happy to explain why the government/vast right-wing conspiracy/The Mob/your villain of choice actually did it. Indeed. I'll doubtless find treatises from most of them when I open my e-mail tomorrow. But they're no longer as prolific as they once were — because they no longer have a vacuum of information to fill.


The surest result of official non-responses is popular suspicion. With each re-examination of the evidence, the number of conspiracy theorists dwindles. And that may be the best reason to have still another investigation of the collapse of the Twin Towers, and hear from the most reputable and convincing of the doubters. In order to clear the air — just as was done at Ground Zero itself.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles