In this issue
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 March 4, 2011 / 28 Adar I, 5771

A Perfect Blendship

By Cal Thomas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the pleasures of an earthly transition is that you can write nice things about a person while they are still around to read them.

And so, I rise to praise my friend and favorite newspaper writer, Frank Rich Jr. as he leaves The New York Times for New York magazine.

What, you say? You are a conservative and he is among the most politically liberal people in journalism. Or, as someone asked me one night when they heard I was going to dinner with former Senator George McGovern, "How can you eat with a man like that?" "Easy," I replied. "He's my friend." And so was Ted Kennedy, I am happy to say. After all, Jesus was "a friend to sinners" and if they were good enough for Him, they are certainly good enough for me.

The point, though, is irrelevant, but it is indicative of our political discourse today. It is not a cliche to say, "Some of my best friends are liberal Democrats." I write a biweekly USA Today column with Bob Beckel whose liberal credentials are beyond reproach.

Why has our political discourse caused us to hate one another if we are of different parties or persuasions? Why must a member of another party or persuasion always be seen as being on "the other side"? The Taliban are on the other side. My fellow American is my fellow American, regardless of politics. There are many reasons for such divisions, none of them valid.

I first "met" Frank when he called me about a column he was working on. I was completely taken aback. After providing him with the information he requested, I do what I often do when meeting someone for the first time. I asked him where he was from.

"From Washington," he said. So am I.


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It turned out we both played clarinet as kids and both owned a KLH stereo, the stereo of choice for teenagers at the time. And we both loved the theater. He was an usher at Washington's National Theatre. I was a frequent patron. We never met, though he might have handed me a program as I walked to my seat.

We would subsequently meet, attend Broadway shows and have meals together, learning about each other and what brought us to our points of view. Our wives often joined us. Frank's wife is Alex Witchel who resembles in my mind the beautiful Chloe Sevigny of HBO's "Big Love." Witchel writes for The New York Times Magazine and shares Frank's gift. As far as I know, Frank didn't "convert" to conservatism, or I to liberalism.

If you read his autobiography, "Ghost Light," you will understand more of Frank Rich, the man. And that is another point, made recently by President Obama in his Super Bowl Sunday interview with Bill O'Reilly. Asked, "Why do so many people hate you?" the president responded, "They don't know me."

Whether one thinks he might still hate the president if he got to know him is not the point. So many people see other people as labels and define them as such. Republican-Democrat-liberal-conservative-independent-religious-secular. None of these tell you anything about a person.

What are we missing as Americans by dismissing people we may disagree with politically as unworthy of our friendship, or even citizenship in a country that has always been diverse in its opinions? In 1776, a considerable number of our ancestors wanted to remain British and denounced those who didn't as traitors.

Frank Rich's 14 years as chief drama critic for The New York Times and his 17 years as an op-ed opinion columnist may be unsurpassed for writing of this kind.

When you get to know someone, including their failures, insecurities, family dynamics and fears, you come to appreciate them on a level far above the political chatter. Politics come and go; friends are forever.

As Cole Porter wrote, "It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship. When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot."

I am proud to call Frank Rich my friend and to wish him well in his new digs at New York magazine. Their gain is the Times' loss.

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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