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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

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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

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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

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Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

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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

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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

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The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 19, 2006 / 19 Teves, 5766

The four-hour bris

By Yaffa Ganz

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the old days, when I was growing up, most babies seemed to born on time, and the bris (circumcision ceremony) took place on the eighth day as prescribed in the Torah. The moon also circled the earth and the earth circled the sun. That's just the way things were.

Nowadays, since the Theory of Relativity made its debut, it's no longer clear what circles what, and babies seem to appear earlier and earlier in ever smaller sizes while a bris milah held on the eighth and proper day is becoming a rarity. Or so it seems to me.

(Someone once asked me if any of my sons had a bris on the eighth day. When I answered, somewhat surprised, that they all had a bris on the eighth day, it was her turn to be surprised. "Wow," she said, "what a zechus (merit)!" And here I had thought that was just the way things were supposed to be!)

When one of our grandchildren made his unexpected appearance a full two months early, the bris was obviously not going to be on time. The newcomer spent the first month of his life in an exclusive, five star preemie ward until he was big and smart enough to come home. (The little fella had to learn a few survival skills before coming home. With five curious brothers and sisters and ten busy hands just aching to "hold" him, home presented certain dangers!)

At the ripe old age of two months, the pediatrician finally gave a go-ahead signal for the bris. It was twelve-thirty in the afternoon when mother and child emerged from his office. Sunset was at 4:30. That left around four hours to arrange things.

By one-thirty, the father had hurriedly returned to Jerusalem from Ashdod and managed to contact the mohel (circumciser). But no one could promise us a meal on such short notice.

"Can't we have the bris off tomorrow?" I asked. "It's not on the eighth day anyway."

"No," said the father with determination. "The Rabbi said if the doctor gave his OK, it has to be today. Besides, we don't push a bris off for lack of sandwiches!"

"What's the problem?" asked an uncle. "We'll buy some Bamba and Bisli [Israeli versions of spiced potato chips] with cookies and something to drink. What else do we need?"

"We need a meal," said

his wife coldly. "This isn't going to be a Bisli bris!" By two-thirty, after endless phone calls in a desperate search for food for the seuda (banquet), they found a place in Meah Shearim that promised us a proper meal for eighty people and have it ready in an hour.

"Do you think everyone will get here on time?" I asked. "Shekiah [sundown] is in two hours." I looked up at the rapidly descending sun.

"You're here, we're here. We have a mohel and a meal and the immediate family. What else do we need?" was the reply.

What else indeed? Still, it would be nice if the baby's aunts and uncles and cousins could be present.

By three-thirty, food for eighty, paper goods, serving dishes and other necessary items had all been purchased, assembled, picked up and rushed to the hall in the neighborhood shul where the bris was scheduled to take place.

By four o'clock, two marvelous sisters-in-law, one marvelous niece and one super special aunt had the hall set up — as beautiful a job as any caterer could have done.

("Boruch Hashem [Thank G-d] we didn't have to shlep tables and chairs in addition to everything else!" said one exhausted uncle.)

At five after four it started to pour. In this dry, desert-like area outside Jerusalem, the rain came down in torrents.

At four-ten the father rushed into the house to change his wet clothes and grab his tallis and tefillin (religious gear). Then he ran back out to the shul.

At four-twenty-two, the mother of the celebrant was still making braids, curls and putting barrettes into her daughters' hair.

By four-twenty-seven the baby was duly dressed, wrapped up and taken down to the shul by another special aunt.

At four-thirty the bris began — in a darkening, chilly shul (no one could find the gabbai [sexton] who was the only one with the keys to the electric box).

At four-forty-five the gabbai was found, the keys handed over, the lights and heat turned on.

At four-fifty, in the middle of the ceremony, the last of the Mohicans — two uncles and two cousins — arrived from Tel Aviv.

Everyone was finally there. The children were dressed in their Shabbos best (although one young lady lost her shoe), the lights were on, the heat was working, the mohel was doing his job, the baby was crying (me, too!) and thenů the deed was done! Another descendant of Avraham Avinu (Abraham our forefather) had duly entered the Covenant. I finally began to breathe and was filled, not only with oxygen, but with a feeling of overwhelming joy and thanksgiving.

The hall looked lovely and the food was fresh, plentiful and delicious. Most of the guests were indeed immediate family (as were the waiters and waitresses!), but a few good friends and neighbors were present despite the short notice and the rain. Everyone else was notified after the event.

It was, in fact, a perfect simchas (lifecycle event). The family was grateful, happy, blessed. Everyone was smiling, the mechutonim (in-laws) most of all. We had proved it again. When family and friends gather round to help, the impossible can be accomplished. Even in a mere four hours.

Mazal tov!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Yaffa Ganz is the award-winning author of more than forty titles including, the two-volume teen history "Sand and Stars --- A Jewish Journey Through Time" and the popular Savta Simcha Series.


We recommend you pick up "A Different Dimension", the author's latest.

From contemplating the complexities of candlesticks to pondering the power of computers -- with every imaginable topic in between -- this book is a delight for the mind and the soul; a fresh, original look at life.

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© 2006, Yaffa Ganz