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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 July 7, 2006 / 11 Tamuz, 5766

Putting words to rest

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | That words matter has few dissenters, especially among those who try to make sense with them.


The right word is the writer's Holy Grail. Often elusive, the mot juste is the lullaby that sends one into rapturous sleep, while its evil twin — the ill-chosen word — can have the opposite effect.


My sleep has been troubled the past few weeks by a choice of words that prompted some polite protest from some African-American readers. It was "lynch mob," which I used to refer to the public indictment and conviction of three Duke lacrosse team members who have been charged with raping a black stripper (who, I hasten to add, is a student and mother).


I was using the term to suggest that the media and a willing public were trying the young men without benefit of due process. Even knowing how provocative the word can be, I justified using it because its original meaning was closer to my intent than to the more modern understanding of "lynching" associated with slavery and Jim Crow.


The word "lynch" dates back to the American Revolution thanks to one Col. Charles Lynch, who took justice into his own hands to punish loyalists. Lynch held his own court and punished those he deemed deserving. Punishment usually involved flogging, but no one was ever killed.


Fast-forward, and lynching earned a new and horrific meaning familiar to all Americans. Between roughly the end of Reconstruction and the Great Depression, there were 2,805 documented lynchings in 10 Southern states, according to Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck, authors of "A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930."


Other estimates including undocumented lynchings come closer to 5,000. Although several hundred whites were lynched, most victims were blacks killed by white mobs. This painful period in our history is so agonizing to recall that we may be forgiven for wanting to avert our gaze.


No apology will ever be adequate for the crimes committed. Likewise, some of my readers said, no use of the word "lynching" or "lynch mob" can be justified to describe lesser events.


Their argument rests on the premise that such extreme suffering grants reluctant ownership of the word to the victim group. African-Americans "own" lynching in the same way Jews "own" the Holocaust.


In the wake of 9/11, many writers used the word "holocaust" to describe the events at the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. Indeed, what we witnessed meets the technical definition of "holocaust," which Merriam-Webster describes as (1) a sacrifice consumed by fire; (2) thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life, especially through fire."


Only the third definition refers to the mass slaughter of European civilians, especially Jews, by the Nazis during World War II.


Even so, there's a clear difference — both in scale and significance — between 9/11 and the Holocaust, just as there is a clear difference between the "lynch mob" mentality directed toward the Duke players and the terrorism of lynching that was directed against blacks in this country.


In retrospect, I agree with my readers that I was wrong to use the word as I did. It was convenient and it seemed to fit. But it trivialized a horror that deserves its own word and its own place in the American lexicon.


Part of what changed my mind was reading Sebastian Junger's "A Death in Belmont," a book that is part investigative journalism and part memoir about the Boston Strangler. More to the point, Junger revisits the civil rights era and reminds us of just how horrible lynching really was.


I suspect that most Americans, like me, think of lynching as hanging. We've seen the picture postcards that whites used to send to friends and relatives. We've marveled in disbelief at the faces of men, women and children as they gathered as though for a picnic to watch a black man swing from the end of a rope.


Not that that isn't horrible enough.


But, as Junger writes, many lynchings were far, far worse. Victims — some of them teens guilty of nothing more than insolence or looking at the wrong person — were tortured, their fingers cut off, their teeth pulled with pliers, their eyes gouged out, castrated and burned alive.


This, sadly, is what "lynching" means in modern American history.


Some words — lynching and Holocaust among them — really do belong to their victims.

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