In this issue

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 Jan. 3, 2006 / 3 Teves, 5766

Count your blessings

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's an old saying that's right on the money: Count your blessings.

I've been realizing my blessings with renewed intensity this week. Everyone in my family has. My cousin Sean, only 33, was in a terrible accident that he did not survive.

We were stunned when we got the news, and we have been reeling at the loss. We can't imagine the pain my aunt and uncle and cousins are going through, and we know the funeral, to be held two days after I submitted this piece, is going to be a difficult one.

Tragedy brings folks together and we certainly reached out to each other. We talked and commiserated and tried to make sense of something that never will make sense to any of us.

But the unpleasantness of the tragedy caused us to do something most of us fail to do: count our blessings.

Amazing luck

There are 65 people in my extended family. At any given moment, someone is probably driving somewhere, and yet in my 43 years, this is the only auto tragedy to touch any of us.

In my life, I lost both grandmothers, my Uncle Mike, my Uncle Jimmy and now Sean. We suffered another tragedy when my brother-in-law's father died in a plane accident four years ago. As much as I miss them all, it's still amazing that my blessings outweigh my losses by overwhelming margins.

I have five sisters, five brothers-in-law, two parents, 17 nieces and nephews and two great-nieces. Nobody is suffering a life-threatening illness. Nobody has a health issue to speak of, with the exception of my father, whose issue, thankfully, is nearly behind him.

I think, too, of all the dumb things I did as a testosterone-crazed teen, how I used to see how fast the car would go, or how I'd re-create the Jim Rockford maneuver, burning rubber down the road. So many things could have gone wrong that never did.

Some 20 years ago, my sister Kathy and her fiance were in an auto wreck, but neither was hurt badly, though they could have been. Their car was totaled, but they walked away. They went on to have three children and a good life together.

Every time you walk out the door — every time you head on a trip — it really could be the last time you walk out the door, the last trip, the last time your friends or relatives see you, or the last time you see them.

We know this in our bones, but we make an industry out of forgetting it. The tricky part of this life is in the remembering — remembering how blessed we are when our blessings are right under our noses, remembering to dwell on what we have rather than what we don't.

Taking stock

That would make a fine New Year's resolution. Imagine that you are 100 years old, looking back on your life. Imagine thinking through all of the things you would have done differently.

Would you spend more time at the office or more time with your kids? Would you work harder at being kind? Would you spend more on charity and less going out to dinner? Would you make every effort to spend time with your friends and family and less time huddled in front of the television?

The answers would be obvious from the vantage of 100, but too many of us forget them daily as we stumble through life. We need to remember.

At 33, Sean was just getting warmed up. He was strong and athletic and had a handsomeness that caused women to swoon. He was close to his brothers and sisters and parents, and he doted on his daughter. He had so much yet to experience and give, and it makes no sense that he was taken so early.

Only one thing makes sense: Count your blessings.

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© 2005, Tom Purcell