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 23, 2007 / 5 Iyar, 5767

Tragedy, American-style

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm still upset by the news from last week!

That a psychopath named Cho Seung-Hui slaughtered 32 innocent young people — people with promising futures who had plenty to contribute to the world?

Well, that, too. But I was talking about Sanjaya getting voted off "American Idol." It broke my heart.

Untold pain and suffering have been inflicted on innocent people, yet you're wrapped up in a silly television show? You're really going to have to explain.

Well, didn't everybody love Sanjaya? He was a young, gawky kid with a marginal voice. There was something about him that made you want to root for him. He dropped out of high school to focus on his singing. His story was so fascinating.

Ah, yes, a nice story line is what we all need. It brings clarity to an unclear world. It helps us make sense of the irrational. Such has been the fascination with Sanjaya, a 17-year-old singer who can't sing. And such has been the way our media deals with a complex world.

But he's so wise for such a young person. He said he never looked too far into the future. He said that every week he focused only on surviving the show for another week. We should all heed his sage advice.

We should all enjoy Sanjaya's story — just as we enjoyed another story not too long ago. Don Imus said nasty things about women college basketball players on his radio show. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton got massive media attention by raking him over the coals. Imus got fired. And everyone was delighted that race relations had taken a step forward, though they probably took several steps backward. Still, what a tidy story.

But Sanjaya got fired, too. He said he had a bad feeling when he saw the show on Tuesday night. But when he got voted off, he did it with such grace. He said the important thing was that the experience helped him to grow.

Many have been trying to form a nice story line around the Virginia Tech massacre, as well. Different constituencies are trying to use the tragedy to advance their own stories and agendas. Right out of the gate, The New York Times decided that guns, more so than psychopaths, are the problem.

I know what you mean. Some people thought Sanjaya's weird hairstyles, more so than his awful voice, was his problem.

Pretty soon a million other explanations surfaced. Cho was bullied when he was young and we should sympathize with him. It was the drugs he was on that caused him to act — or the lack of drugs. It was because mental-health funding wasn't high enough at his school. Or it was the violence in the movies he watched and his need to emulate violent characters.

I know what you mean. Everyone is trying to understand why Sanjaya got voted off the show when the real issue is his future. He said he hasn't got any offers yet, but he'll only choose opportunities that he feels strongly about. The most important thing is for him to be true to himself.

The truth of the matter is there are no easy explanations. Sometimes things go wrong — people go tragically wrong. Maybe it was purely psychological in his case; maybe Cho was just born nasty and mean. Maybe it was pure evil.

Maybe Sanjaya was born to act and his stint on "American Idol" was his ticket to an acting career.

The truth of the matter is we need to fight the American urge to marginalize and categorize this horrible event into a tidy little story line just so we can sleep better at night. We need to fight the urge to use the Virginia Tech massacre to advance our little agendas. We need to wake up fully and embrace the ugliness and awfulness of it fully. We should be angry that such evil has happened. Aren't you angry?

Sure, I'm angry. I just hope to deal with it gracefully, just the way Sanjaya has dealt with his anger.

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© 2007, Tom Purcell