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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 Aug 6, 2012 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5772

When being first is a no-win situation

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Not surprisingly, Barbara Bush said it most succinctly: “The first lady is going to be criticized no matter what she does.

And how.

One needn’t prod Michelle Obama for confirmation — or almost any other first lady in history. There is no “just right” in this, shall we say, “Goldilockean Proviso.” Anything is either too much or too little.

A review of first-lady comments posted on the National First Ladies’ Library Web site (www.firstladies.org/biographies) further confirms the difficulties the wives of presidents face. Obama is but the latest to face the challenge. A common thread suggests that more than a few disliked the role but accepted it as a duty.

Mary Todd Lincoln, politically sophisticated and well read, left little to speculation: “I do not belong to the public; my character is wholly domestic, and the public have nothing to do with it.” Others further down the line were unapologetic in their contempt for the mixed blessing of first lady, including Bess Truman, who said: “We are not any one of us happy to be where we are but there’s nothing to be done about it except to do our best — and forget about the sacrifices and many unpleasant things that bob up.”

Thus, anyone who criticized Obama for saying that she sometimes fantasizes that she’ll “walk right out the front door and just keep walking” doesn’t know much about first-lady history. They were invariably tough, smart women who sought to find a way to reconcile their true selves with the demands of public expectation. Like Obama, all longed for the privacy to just be oneself.

In recent years, as politics have become more broadly partisan and women have assumed more prominent roles, first ladies have become fairer game in the maelstrom we call the public square. Hillary Rodham Clinton infamously set off bonfires of inanities with her now innocuous-sounding remark that she was not “some little woman, standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.” Or that she wasn’t one to stay home and bake cookies.

Au contraire, as it turns out. Hillary could teach Tammy a thing or two about family loyalty, and she was hardly the first to eschew the kitchen. Sarah Polk proclaimed in the mid-1800s: “If I get into the White House, I will neither keep house nor make butter.”

Obama, though she holds a law degree from Harvard, has turned away from Clinton’s ambitious example and focused instead on the ultimate in domesticity — not just cooking but raising the food that goes to table. Her new cookbook, “American Grown,” features glossy photos and a personal diary of gardening in the city, albeit in the nation’s best yard with significant staff help.

But even such a noble quest — to make the nation healthier and more aware of nutrition — is not without controversy. Friday’s Post featured comments from fans and critics of the first lady’s gardening platform. Some don’t like her suggestion that consumers buy locally, insisting that Big Agri feeds the world and is unjustly maligned. Undoubtedly, mass-produced food is a boon to the hungry, but buying a few tomatoes at the local farmers market is hardly an indictment of corn subsidies.

Eating locally grown produce in season is a basic tenet of healthy eating, whether you’re a disciple of macrobiotics or California Cuisine.

Others are critical of Obama’s choice to focus on uber-domestic issues rather than directing her intellect and education on “more important” issues. Begging to differ, there is nothing more important than food — how we raise it, how we distribute it and how we consume it. At a time of rampant obesity, especially among children, nutrition should be a national priority.

Tracking first ladies through history is a tour of women’s development from disenfranchised chattel to champions of choice that also offers a glimpse into how conflicted we remain about women’s proper role. What upsets so many in Obama’s own political camp is that this first lady has so vividly chosen family over career, finding expression in the most elemental of endeavors — digging her hands into Mother Earth and offering nourishment to her young.

Such an explicit embrace of a traditional female role is nothing short of heresy to some. In fact, it is a brave stance by a wise woman whose priorities deserve to be celebrated.

There will be plenty of time for career and Big Issues beyond the family table once the children are grown — a lesson best learned sooner than too late.

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