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 April 10, 2006 / 12 Nissan, 5766

Lessons from nights of the round table

By Mitch Albom

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Attendance was mandatory. You had to be on time. Appearance mattered. No outside items were permitted. And no one left until all were dismissed. I am not talking about school, church or the military.

I am talking about family dinners.

If I had to point to one thing as the glue of my childhood, it would be those meals. They were fixed and firm. We waited for everyone. We never had the TV or radio playing. And we stayed at that table — eating, talking, laughing, yelling — sometimes for hours.

Last week, a front-page New York Times article cited the benefits — and difficulties — of families eating dinners together, quoting sources and referencing studies. This would have been a good laugh at our table. Back then, we didn't know any better.

But today we lament the fact that little more than half of American teenagers report eating regular dinners with their families. We cite studies that find those who don't share a family meal are more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs.

Really? As a kid might say: Uh . . . duh!

It's not mom's meatloaf that keeps you off the dope. It's the fact that you belong somewhere. You belong to something. You are a link in a family — for which eating together is a nightly symbol of allegiance. So when social pressure wants you to light up or take a swig, you can refuse and still know you are part of something special.

After all, most dumb things teenagers do are about being accepted or being liked. If you already have a place that makes you feel that way, you're less inclined to take the risk.

Dinner tables are where you discuss such things. Dinner tables are where your mother or father say, "What's bothering you?," where your siblings put the heat on for you to answer, where your grandmother offers some perspective, and where it's all washed down with cake or chocolate.

It's also a place where we stop moving. So much of the American day is going from place to place, carpooling, picking up, surfing the Net, disappearing into an iPod. The dinner table is a halt to all that. No one is "too busy" — unless too busy chewing. This may be the difference between a teenager feeling a parent has time to listen and feeling a parent doesn't.

So we're agreed it's important, yes?

Then why can't more people make it happen? The Times piece cited one family whose kids had football practice from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and another whose kids have tae kwon do from 5:45 to 7:30 and piano lessons from 6 to 6:45.

Well, I'm about to commit heresy right here, but I don't care: Mom and Dad, cancel the lessons. Take them off the team. If schools and instructors can't find any other time to work with kids than dinnertime, it's just not that important.

Better to have your son know your laugh, your wisdom and your funny family stories, than to know how to throw a block. Better to have your daughter comfortably share her worries than to play a fugue by Bach.

Ask yourself what's more important — your kids' skills or their sanity?

And while you're at it, ask yourself if you haven't scheduled your child halfway to midnight so that you can have more time for yourself or your work. If so, you have a little soul-searching to do, too.

There are some things that warrant the front page of The New York Times. Eating dinner with your family isn't one of them. Heck, I think cavemen did it. And even cavemen may have known this: Before you start molding the next tae kwon do champ, try molding a human being. That requires time and attention.

And there is no better place than your dinner table to do it.

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