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 Feb.7, 2005 / 28 Shevat, 5765

It's no joke, so laugh already

By Lenore Skenazy

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They say that laughter is the best medicine. At least, Reader's Digest does. So maybe this explains "laughter yoga," the new craze wherein strangers get together and force themselves to guffaw. This is said to be excellent exercise.

And so it is, because the minute I heard about it, my eyeballs started rolling.

Nonetheless, an astounding 2,500 laughter clubs have sprung up, from India (where the thing began 10 years ago) to Australia to America. You've got your Central Texas Laughter Club of Austin and a giggle gaggle in good ol' Kungsträdgården, Sweden.

So why is New York's only laughter club in the basement of a Seventh Ave. chiropractor?

My theory: We need our bad moods. If we didn't have smoldering rage to nurse, what would we do on the subway? Still, moved by curiosity and an excruciatingly grumpy day, I decided to give those stupid laughs a try.

When laughter yoga first began, explained Alex Eingorn, the chiropractor-founder of New York's Grab a Giraffe club (grabbagiraffe.com), "People would sit around and tell jokes." That worked, he said, until they ran out.

Of jokes, that is. Not out of the room, though who would blame them? Moreover, as the movement started to go global, its founder, Dr. Madan Kataria, had to find a way to spread laughter without language. Eventually, he developed about 50 different laugh exercises, to which Alex was about to introduce us.

"Okay!" he told the 20 of us — mostly men — who stood in a loose circle. "Extend a hand, greet and laugh as you shake!"

In what felt like a bizarre singles event, we proceeded to do just that. A dead ringer for Abe Lincoln and I shook hands. "Ha ha," he said. "Ha," I countered.

This wasn't working. But then I pumped the hand of a younger guy — looked like a soap-opera star — and felt so dumb that a little laugh escaped my lips. His, too. Then a grinning granny grabbed my hand and, boy, was she a laugher! She laughed and laughed. I wished I was having half as much fun but . . . I wasn't. I bared my teeth in what I hoped was a smile.

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But by the third or fourth exercise, we had to waggle a "Naughty, naughty" finger at each other and this, my face burns to say it, was actually fun. The wagging .fingers just looked so silly, you had to - yes - laugh! By the time I met up with the best laugher in the class, a middle-aged mirth machine, I was hysterical.

"The body cannot tell the difference between a fake laugh and a real one," Alex informed us.

"Just like most dates!" I squealed to the guy next to me. And guess what? He laughed.

Real? Fake? Turns out it really doesn't matter. I mean, I had come to this class as angry as the next New Yorker. But then 20 of us spent 45 minutes trying to improve our attitudes without once mentioning our childhoods. The class is free, so it's not like anyone was ripping us off. And when I reached home, I waggled my finger at my husband and started laughing my head off. He looked at me funny. It's a start.

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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