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 July 3, 2007 / 17 Tamuz, 5767

A chance to savor the unknown

By Lenore Skenazy

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1841, when Charles Dickens finished the last installment of "The Old Curiosity Shop," his American fans were so desperate to find out the ending that they stormed the New York piers and shouted to incoming ships, "Is Little Nell alive?"

You can hear the same question today, only now the name is Harry.

"OK, you guys. Is Harry going to die?" a cashier at the grocery asked my friend Nancy and her son the other day.

Pretty much anyone, anywhere, can get into a whole conversation — with the laughs and the bonding and the way-too-detailed theories — merely by pondering young Harry Potter's fate. You can ponder with a friend or a stranger, a grown-up or an 8-year-old (or, of course, your amazingly precocious preschooler). Come midnight July 21, however, all those ponderings will end.


Every generation from now on is going to know the arc of this classic — "Oh yeah, that's that great series with the really sad ending." Or not.

How precious this time is, then, when we can still bite our nails and wonder what J.K. Rowling has in store for us. Imagine sitting in the Globe Theatre on opening night and not knowing whether maybe Romeo and his girlfriend were going to get hitched and open up Juliet's Juicy Pie Company. Ever since then, we've known: no pies. That night was special.

"It's kind of like watching a ballgame in the third inning, or the seventh," said Leonard Cassuto, an English professor at Fordham University. "Those sequential memories get rolled into a ball at the end of the ninth, and that's how you store them. You'll think, 'Yeah, that was the game where 'X' happened.' But you won't remember what you were thinking or feeling those two innings before 'X' happened."

Over at Mugglenet.com, one of the most popular Harry Potter fan sites, an editor named Rachel said she was having mixed feelings about the dwindling time left before Book 7. "Initially, I was really excited for this summer," she said in an e-mail. "But I started getting cold feet. Do I want it to end?"

I sure don't. If Harry dies — I don't even want to think it. And for now, I don't have to.

When readers learned the fate of Little Nell, they took it hard. "Dickens readers were drowned in a wave of grief," one of the author's biographers, Edgar Johnson, wrote: "(The actor) Macready, returning home from the theater, saw the print of the child lying dead a dead chill ran through his blood. 'I have never read printed words that gave me so much pain,' he wrote in his diary ... Daniel O'Connell, the Irish M.P., reading the book in a railway carriage, burst into tears, groaned, 'He should not have killed her,' and despairingly threw the volume out the window."

And all this after readers had showered the author with letters imploring him to let Little Nell live, said Victor Gulotta, a Dickens collector.

Today's letters are on the Internet: Blogs and comments from Harry readers steeling themselves for the worst, and in the meantime, unable to stop talking about it.

"Dickens knew and Rowling knows how to build up expectation and suspense, getting you intellectually interested and emotionally captured," said the author of another Dickens biography, Fred Kaplan.

Kaplan proceeded to discuss the authors' craft and times, the amazing parallels between their work and then, just as we were about to hang up, he added quietly: "I hope Harry doesn't die. Do you think he'll die?"

And so began another conversation, just before they all shall end.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy's column by clicking here.

Lenore Skenazy Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate