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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 March 3, 2008 / 26 Adar I 5768

The Pyongyang overture

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The big news in the music world last week was the New York Philharmonic's visit to North Korea; it was the first time an American orchestra had appeared in Kim Jong Il's Stalinist dictatorship. Under music director Lorin Maazel, the Philharmonic performed Wagner's prelude to Act III of "Lohengrin," Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, Gershwin's "American in Paris," and, as a closer, the Korean folk song "Arirang." While Kim did not attend the performance, nearly everyone in the hand-picked audience of apparatchiks wore a lapel pin depicting his face or that of his father, Kim Il Sung, who founded the tyrannical regime in 1948.


Lorin Maazel, the music director of the New York Philharmonic.


Maazel characterized the concert as a triumph, and speculated that it would "do a great deal for Korean-US relations." But the only clear beneficiary of last week's trip was Kim, whose propagandists will portray a performance by one of the world's preeminent musical ensembles as a gesture of tribute to the Dear Leader. In totalitarian North Korea, as Melanie Kirkpatrick noted in the Wall Street Journal, "the purpose of music, like that of all the arts, is to serve the state."


A few years ago, Maazel composed an opera based on George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four." It was an experience, he says, that sensitized him to the horrors of tyranny — "brutal torture, systematic injustice, contempt for any human dignity." Where was the evidence of that sensitivity during last week's trip to North Korea? Defending the decision to visit one of the planet's most horrendous slave states, Maazel had insisted that "human rights are an issue of profound relevance to us all." But not profound enough, apparently, for Maazel to actually defend them in the presence of North Korea's jailers.


Indeed, while the maestro hasn't hesitated to condemn the United States, he brushes off as mere "errors" the savageries of Kim's regime. "Is our reputation all that clean when it comes to prisoners and the way they are treated?" he demanded in an interview, when asked whether the Philharmonic ought to be making music for a police state. "I think we can . . . stop being judgmental about the errors made by others." Which just goes to show that one can be blessed with perfect pitch yet devoid of moral judgment. At least in that regard, Maazel's decision to program Wagner was only too apt.


Music in North Korea? Maazel might want to speak with Ji Hae Nam, a one-time government propaganda officer who spent three years in prison for singing a popular South Korean song. There, she later testified at a US Senate hearing, she was beaten so severely that she couldn't stand for a month. After prison guards subjected her to sexual abuse "that cannot be imagined," she tried to commit suicide by swallowing sewage and cement.


Ji eventually escaped North Korea, but there are an estimated 200,000 political prisoners still locked up in Kim's gulag, where inmates are routinely murdered through starvation, torture, or brutal forced labor. North Koreans are condemned to these hellholes for such "crimes" as complaining about living standards, practicing Christianity, or neglecting to dust a picture of Kim Il Sung. Those sent to Kim's concentration camps don't go alone: As a matter of policy, North Korea imprisons not only the accused but up to three generations of his family as well, including parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren.


"Through our music, through our art, we will be able to express our friendly feelings to North Korean artists and the North Korean people," Maazel said in a toast at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang last week. Even assuming that ordinary North Koreans heard of the philharmonic's visit — the main government paper reported it below the fold on page four — they were not likely to have drawn much solace from it. To someone who can be executed for possessing a Bible or tuning a radio to a foreign station, of what importance is it that a famous American orchestra performed for a group of government loyalists? It is not news to Kim's subjects that Communist Party cronies enjoy foreign luxuries most North Koreans are denied.


Maazel says that concerts like last week's have "the potential to nudge open a door that has been closed too long" and that "the presence of foreign artists, especially American," reassures the victims of totalitarian despots that they have "not been forgotten." So what will he and the philharmonic do for an encore? Play Darfur? Zimbabwe? Would they have fiddled for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge inner circle? For Adolf Hitler and the leaders of the Gestapo?


The way to let the citizens of unfree nations know they have not been forgotten is not by entertaining their jailers. It is by speaking up in their defense: by reproaching, not playing along with, the dictators who oppress them; by broadcasting the names of the jailed and abused; by publicly proclaiming solidarity with the victims. Maazel had the opportunity to strike a blow for decency and freedom. All he did was strike up the band.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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