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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. 24, 2006 / 3 Kislev, 5767

Why it's foolish to turn your back on tradition

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his brilliant essay "The Great Relearning," Tom Wolfe recounts a "curious footnote to the hippie movement." In 1968, at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, doctors found themselves treating diseases "no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names." These maladies had such names as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the rot.


These afflictions materialized because those hippie pilgrims believed the Man had nothing to teach them, so they turned their backs on "bourgeois" morality, a category of knowledge that included this thing called "hygiene." So they enjoyed communal toothbrushes, communal sheets, communal sex, communal bathwater and communal, like, whatever. Living like Rousseau's noble savages brought back the twitch, the thrush and the rot because it was a grand lie that savagery was ever noble in the first place, and because a lot of that stuff your grandmother taught you about everything from washing your hands to not sleeping around actually had practical relevance.


Wolfe's essay has practical relevance, too. The recent elections are being interpreted — accurately or not — as a repudiation of religious conservatism. Obviously, this topic can't be settled here — or anywhere. But as it's Thanksgiving, there's a basic point worth making: Tradition matters. It matters whether you believe in G-d or whether you agree with that esteemed theologian Elton John, who recently called for a ban on religion because religion, according to Sir Elton, is bad for gay people.


I respect theological arguments for morality. But unless someone already believes in G-d, saying "because G-d says so" has as much authority as saying "don't do that because my umbrella stand says not to." The fact is that traditional morality has practical authority independent of whether G-d exists and whether we know His will.


Those hippies got the itch and twitch because they rejected what their parents taught them. They believed that we could act as if this was Year Zero and the world could be reinvented and reimagined from scratch. It's inconceivable that their parents knew what the exact consequences of rejecting traditional morality would be, but they knew on a dogmatic level that it was a bad idea.


Traditional rules of conduct emerge over time through a process of trial and error. To pick an extreme example, the Shakers banned sex and — surprise! — America is not overrun with Shakers today. Successful societies learn from their mistakes in time to make adjustments. Those adjustments become best practices that in turn become customs, and eventually, those customs become traditions. Those traditions are passed along from generation to generation, usually without us knowing all the reasons why they became traditions in the first place.


Obviously, some of these traditions are outdated and silly. Others are vital. Even leftists and libertarians who display ritualized contempt for tradition understand that we do some things today because we've learned from the mistakes of our forefathers. If everything is open to revision, then slavery is still a viable option.


Fundamentally, this isn't a point about political conservatism so much as civilization itself. Cultures have roots — a point we're learning the hard way in Iraq, where there is no liberal democratic tradition and we are trying to create one from scratch.


Take Madonna (please). The aging pop star has been in the news lately because she wants to share her undoubtedly extensive parenting skills with a child from Malawi. In the 1980s, Madonna was a pioneer of slattern chic — a hip whorishness that championed doing whatever floated your boat so long as it expressed your authentic sexuality or some similar drivel. "Moralizers" claimed she was a bad role model. The usual suspects clucked at such Comstockery.


Then, in the '90s, Madonna grew weary of shaking her moneymaker for cash and reinvented herself as a dedicated mother, embarrassed by the excesses of her youth. This was an easy transition for a multimillionaire with an entourage so enormous she could brag that she never changed a diaper. But her change of heart did little good for the kids from the '80s who took her "papa don't preach" nonsense seriously. Madonna could afford to learn from her mistakes at the expense of those who couldn't. That she now agrees, to some extent, with the moralists is cold comfort to those who subscribed to slattern chic when young and learned too late that Madonna was a con artist.


In this season of giving thanks, we should thank God for our good fortune. But we also owe a deep debt of gratitude to the papas — and mamas — who preached from one generation to the next.

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