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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 Dec 22, 2011 / 26 Kislev, 5772

Grieving at Christmas

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |


"There's a grief that can't be spoken.

There's a pain goes on and on.

Empty chairs at empty tables

Now my friends are dead and gone." -- Marius, from the musical "Les Miserables"

"It's the most wonderful time of the year," Andy Williams reminds us over tinny speakers in crowded shopping malls. It may be wonderful for the majority, but for those whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers or children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan there is a void this Christmas, and Christmases to come, that can never be filled. It is the same in every war.

Memories of Christmases past can only add to the pain, especially for those experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one opening presents and eating their fill at the dinner table.

On Monday, I drove past Arlington National Cemetery near the Pentagon. It is fitting that the building where war is made would be in such close proximity to the graves of those who died fighting them. Veterans cemeteries ought to remind civilians, as well as generals, that war should never be entered into lightly, but rather always as a last resort.

Every Christmas, volunteers place wreaths on each of the headstones in Arlington. The tableau could be a Christmas card, except such a card would express sorrow, not joy.

There is a show on Fox News Channel called "The Cost of Freedom." It's about money. The grave markers at Arlington and at veterans cemeteries around the nation are the true cost of freedom, which has always been paid, not with cash, but with blood.

Freedom is not the natural state of humanity, otherwise more of us would be free. Oppression, discrimination, religious fanaticism, hunger, dictatorship, censorship of the press, denial of women's rights -- these seem to be the norm. To be free means to rail against such injustice.



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Christians believe Jesus came to set us free from sin. Those who have died in our wars fought and gave their lives that we might have our many freedoms, including the religious freedom to hear and accept or reject His message.

Passing Arlington, I recall a line from one of our wonderful patriotic songs, "America, the Beautiful," which says of our war dead, "O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!"

In a narcissistic age this may seem odd, even offensive to those whose favorite nouns are "I" and "me." Perhaps that's why so many of us don't know anyone who has served in the military. It's called military "service," after all. Making money serves self. If we haven't served in the armed forces, it is less likely we would know people who are serving, or have served. I served, albeit not on the battlefield, making my contribution as part of Armed Forces Radio in the '60s.

As the ads and emails suggest last-minute gift ideas, here's a suggested gift that will last longer in your heart than any purchase you make for yourself or your family: Find someone who has lost a loved one to war and take them a present. It doesn't have to be expensive. Tell them, "I wanted to bring you a gift in recognition of the gift your loved one gave our country." If you don't know anyone, search online for organizations that assist families whose loved ones paid the ultimate price for our country.

If you do that, I suspect this Christmas will be unforgettable for the person on the receiving end of your compassion. It could also be a transforming event in your own life and a Christmas you will never forget.


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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.

© 2011, Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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