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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 August 15, 2011 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5771

Taking stock

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A drop of more than 600 points in one day in the U.S. stock market.

Ouch.

Even one of my daughters asked, "Mom, the stock market dropped HOW MUCH??"

I have a feeling that she was first trying to gauge any potential impact on her back-to-school shopping, but even she -- a typical teen insulated from much of the craziness of the world -- was struck by such news.

I tend to be an optimist, so I figure that our portfolios will bounce back sooner rather than later. But meanwhile, we're again looking at wild swings in the markets. What a roller coaster.

Of course, I'm not ultimately speaking here to the rises and falls of the stock market, to some extent an inevitable thing in a free and prosperous economy. Nor is this a diatribe against wealth, large or small. Rather, it's about taking stock in what we put our stock in, so to speak.

My pastor pointed out recently that in Psalm 49 the psalmist writes that even the wise die, the fool and the senseless alike perish and all "leave their wealth to others." Duh, right? But, what the psalmist noted then is still true thousands of years later: In spite of the obvious, we are surrounded by false messages that our identity and our hope lie in our wealth. Of course, that produces fear. When will we learn?

This isn't to say that wealth isn't relevant, but rather that so many of us should probably value it differently than we do. The empirical data now back up what the psalmist knew -- money really can't buy happiness. Once a basic level of life's necessities are met, the correlation between having more money and personal happiness disappears. No wonder. It's pretty easy in our society to get onto what researchers call the hedonic treadmill: The more you acquire, the more you want -- and that's especially true, studies show, if the people around you have more than you do.

Graeme Wood writes about the "Secret Fears of the Super-Rich" in a recent issue of The Atlantic. Wood notes: "Enormous wealth takes care of so many day-to-day concerns, that the remaining ones grow that much more frustrating."

It's all so… human.

Meanwhile, as noted, I can easily fall as prey to this as anyone. I, too, need a constant reminder, whether the market is rising or falling, that ultimate security never comes in things that can be wiped out in moments, and which we will leave behind when we die in any event. It helps me that over the course of my life I've been blessed to live with both more, and less, than I have now. And far from any call to asceticism, I've experienced a delightful and, I believe, God-given irony. I find the more loosely I hold "wealth," the more I can rightly enjoy and share whatever I do have, without fearing its loss or necessarily looking for more.

Once again, ancient wisdom that is so applicable to me, to all of us, in the 21st century. No wonder the Bible also tells us, "There is nothing new under the sun."

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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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