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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 Nov. 26, 2008 / 28 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

Thanksgiving in uncertain times

By Paul Greenberg

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Email this article | These are uncertain times, but have the times ever been certain? For the future comes with no guarantee. But the past can offer guidance, even assurance. One thinks of times in this country's history that were not just uncertain but critical. Yet presidents of the United States paused to proclaim a day of thanksgiving.

The first national proclamation of the holiday was issued in 1863, at a time when the Union itself was in peril, and indeed had already been shredded. A great civil war had engulfed the country, taking its terrible toll. But at the urging of magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, Abraham Lincoln directed his secretary of state, William Seward, to draw up a proclamation of thanksgiving.

What could Americans be thankful for in the midst of a bloody war that was sweeping over a once peaceful and hopeful land?

"In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity," the proclamation declared, "peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union." The beleaguered president gave thanks for bountiful crops and busy industries, and rejoiced in the prospect of ever greater freedom.

In the midst of death and destruction, blessings may loom the larger by contrast.

In many ways, Thanksgiving has become the most expected of American holidays whatever the circumstances. Yet it still seems to come abruptly, in the middle of the week. It has the feeling of a surprise despite its being right there on the calendar all along. In that way, Thanksgiving is like grace itself: We have experienced it in the past, we count on it in the future, and yet there is something miraculous in its arrival.

Today's celebration of Thanksgiving ("Dad, would you say grace?") and the rituals that come with the holidays, the hymns and prayers and community services, the Thanksgiving Day parade and the Football Classics ... all of that would come long after the first national Thanksgiving.

First there had to be the unvoiced instinct, the beginning of the realization of what precious things we have been given. That stirring within is what remains fresh and untouched, and keeps coming back — in the middle of history, in the middle of our lives, at midpoints like airports and bus stations, and out on the road heading to the old home place in the middle of a long cold night. We glance up at the stars in their courses, and shiver with gratitude for all these gifts that in the end are one gift: life itself.

Let us give thanks today for all those who make the holiday possible for the rest of us:

For the armed forces of the United States that guard us in our sleep, even as we fail to notice. Think of Thanksgiving a year ago and the dispatches from Anbar and Baghdad. Iraq was collapsing, and serious statesmen pronounced that all was lost. We think of how much has changed in a year, and give thanks for the valor and skill of our soldiers. sailors, airmen, Marines, all the branches ... for their endurance, initiative and unwavering devotion to us and to victory.

We think of the struggles that still lie ahead in this conscienceless war of terror that has been launched against us. And are thankful for the strength to face it united.

Let us give thanks for the hours leading up to Thanksgiving. For the festive anticipation as folks come home for the holiday. For the sweetest two words in the language amid every crowd at an airport or bus station or railroad depot: Welcome Home!

For the sound of gravel in the drive of many a country place as the old folks await the arrival of the car bearing familiar faces. And maybe some new ones. For the sound of doors opening and children shouting. For coats tossed on the furniture and the feel of warm hugs. For the old folks at home and new babies in the family.

For the bustle before the guests arrive, the hubbub of greetings when they do, for the same stories improved on every year, and for the arguments over just exactly when something occurred in the family and why. For the ways in which all families are alike and all families different.

For friends who make life sweet, who share the good times and bad, and who, because they stick by us despite ourselves, teach us grace.

For the presence of the past around the table — in the faces of the old, in family stories, in old recipes, in the voices of those who taught us the lay of the land. None of it is past, for the past is what we are.

Let us not fail to give thanks for the Groaning Board — the turkey and dressing, the cranberry sauce and yams, and for pies — pumpkin, of course, and mincemeat and Karo-nut and, in some quarters, sweet potato. And for good appetites.

Thank you, Lord, for moments of grace that bring us back to ourselves, and to what's important.

Let us give thanks for the wandering as much as the arriving. For long drives through the night-turning-dawn at the end of the road.

For the sound of the Pledge of Allegiance being said in a chorus of childhood voices, for the same words said in every accent at a citizenship ceremony, and for that ridiculous yet undying hope: liberty and justice for all.

For baseball and jazz and the Constitution and American intricacies of every kind that are nevertheless simple, and so endure. For the great, sweeping American simplicities — like Emily Dickinson's poems and Joe DiMaggio at bat.

For freedom, whatever the cost. For security in an insecure world, and the strength to fight for it. For the peace we yet envision. And seek. Amen.

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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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