JWR Wandering Jews

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 March 30, 2006 /1 Nissan, 5766

Seig humor

By Suzanne Fields

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JewishWorldReview.com |

BERLIN — It's not easy to find a swastika in Berlin. The only place for the morbidly curious to look is a museum, a book about the Third Reich, or in a room at the back of a squalid little shop on a side street where a dealer in contraband Nazi memorabilia peddles forbidden wares. So there was shock and awe when enormous swastikas were unfurled on Lustgarten Square in central Berlin, with helmeted soldiers of the Wehrmacht standing guard over der Fuehrer while crowds of blonde, blue-eyed men and women extended their arms in salute, chanting "sieg heil."

Passersby wondered whether they had died and gone to hell. "Swastika Shock in Berlin," screamed the headline in the tabloid Bild Zeitung. Cried der Spiegel: "Hitler Farce Breaks German Taboos."

But there were no protests. Only curiosity, at the making of a comic movie about the time of unique evil in Germany. If time doesn't heal all wounds, it can allow humor to assuage old pain, to make farce of fascist fanaticism. Or so says Swiss director Dani Levy, a Jew, who is making "Mein Fuehrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler."

Mr. Levy's parody not only satirizes Hitler, but also pokes fun at recent attempts to, of all things, humanize him. The movie will no doubt offend survivors of the horror of the concentration camps of the Third Reich, but 80 percent of the population was born after 1941. For the younger generation, Hitler's evil is merely medieval. To their credit, Germans address their moral responsibility for the Holocaust with memorials and museums, and schoolchildren get the message of their history with painful clarity. Perhaps humor with insight can channel memory.

The making of Dani Levy's movie coincides with the arrival in Berlin of "The Producers," the wildly popular American comic movie by Mel Brooks, about a Broadway scam with a musical built around the song "Springtime for Hitler." High-kicking chorus girls in leather and boots mock der Fuehrer in a Busby Berkeley-like number that horrified Jews in America nearly three decades ago. Says Mel Brooks: "I've received resentful letters of protest, saying things like: 'How can you make jokes about Hitler? The man murdered 6 million Jews.'" But the director argues that his comedy took away "the holy seriousness" that surrounded Hitler and robbed him of "posthumous power." Think Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator," bouncing a balloon as though he were clown king of the universe.

More problematic is the work of a Spanish performance artist who pumped carbon monoxide exhaust fumes into a former synagogue in a town near Cologne, inviting spectators to partake of the gas chamber experience. This, it seems to me and many Germans, trivializes tragedy and dishonors memory.

But popular culture can shock a new generation to remembrance of the Holocaust. Oprah Winfrey has done a public service with choosing "Night," the searing Holocaust memoir of Elie Wiesel, for her book club. She has made it a bestseller almost a half century after it was originally published, and the book deserves a renewed readership. (Some of her critics accuse her of choosing it to redeem her credibility for endorsing James Frey's fabricated memoir, but that seems churlish.) She brings attention to a personal story that grapples with the enormity of human degradation and at the same time forces hundreds of thousands of readers to contemplate without sentimentality the power of evil to destroy innocence when outsiders avert their eyes with studied indifference. Unlike "The Diary of Anne Frank," the Wiesel memoir adds no hopeful gloss to anecdotal experience. Like the night, its blackness is impenetrable by starry eyes. We are forced to look deep into the darkness lurking inside ourselves to try to understand how such things happen.

Asks Francois Mauriac, the French writer, in his foreword to the French edition: "Have we ever thought about the consequence of a horror that, though less apparent, less striking than the other outrages, is yet the worst of all to those of us who have faith: the death of G-d in the soul of a child who suddenly discovers absolute evil?"

At the end of "Night," after Buchenwald is liberated by American soldiers, the little boy who has lost everyone and everything dear to him looks into a mirror with a stranger's eyes that seem to belong to a corpse. "The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me," Elie Wiesel writes. Nor will they leave us. No movie can erase that.

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© 2006, Suzanne Fields, Creators Syndicate