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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 Feb. 17, 2011 / 13 Adar I, 5771

Winter brings out the worst in us

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So much for adversity pulling folks together.

Maybe I'm just a cynic, but why am I not surprised to see the recent Wall Street Journal headline, "As Weather Worsens, So Do Manners"?

In my city of Chicago after our recent blizzard, the case of a woman taking a shovel from a fellow's front porch, clearing her car, but then not returning the item became well known thanks to his revenge: Having caught the "perpetrator" on a surveillance camera, he actually spent time snow-blowing her car right back under. That took her another three hours to dig out. All proudly displayed on YouTube video by him.

His actions were largely cheered in the blogosphere. Really? I'm not defending the woman, but I had to believe if she was digging a car out in the dark of night after a blizzard, she must have been pretty desperate. Maybe she was just a jerk. Or who knows? Maybe she was a single mom working two jobs, meant to return the shovel, but was just too exhausted to do so.

He's the guy with the snow blower, and he's cheered for giving that kind of a hard time to a gal with only a shovel? Nice. Or rather, so very not nice. Apparently the shovel was eventually returned.

Anyway, as snowfall records were set around the country, so apparently were new accounts of rudeness. According to the Journal piece, call-in talk shows, blogs and city halls have been "inundated with gripes about amateur winter drivers, people who see snow on the ground as a license not to pick up after their dogs, and cars flying down the road looking like igloos."

In Washington, D.C., the City Council is weighing the "Winter Sidewalk Safety Amendment Act of 2011." Shovel the sidewalks in front of your home or get fined. There has to be a law for that? I guess so.

Now, for the most part I just think folks need to lighten up and cut each other some slack. Of course, that's generally my advice to my children when it comes to their siblings, and that's never seemed to avert World War III around here.

But on the other hand, all this winter action, reaction and overreaction at least has the valuable effect of proving a theological point: Original sin is real.

OK, maybe this winter's extra rudeness doesn't "prove" it in the strict sense of the word -- at least not in the same way that observing a clique of seventh-grade girls does. But, wow, it lends credence to the idea. Here's the point: It's relatively easy to be nice when we're rested and happy and not stressed out. But the minute we become less than content and our protective barriers get dropped, the more "real us" comes out. And it's often not pretty.

Or, put another way, I've never heard anyone say, "That little 3-year-old over there must be exhausted -- he's being so delightful and sweet!" Uh, no. Generally speaking and from the earliest ages, the more "real us" gets exposed, the uglier it gets.

I'm not sure that brings anyone a great deal of solace in these cold dark days of winter.

But maybe it shows that we're up against a lot more than several feet of snow. In any event, given that we've got weeks of winter left -- and who knows but that more deluges might be part of it all -- how about we resolve to give each other a bit of a break?

If you are a guy, and during the next blizzard a woman takes your shovel to clear her car out in the middle of the night, how about giving her a hand instead of giving her a hard time? It won't change my view of human nature. But it will make one guy at least seem a little kinder.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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