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 June 20, 2008 17 Sivan, 5768

‘Death, Be Not Proud‘ — The Poets and a Media Hero Dying Young

By Suzanne Fields

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was looking out on Chesapeake Bay, sipping a chilled white wine and nibbling a pear plucked from a tree outside my window when I heard that Tim Russert was dead. I didn't know him, but like everyone else who follows politics, I recognized him as a media hero for our time. Media heroes — reporters and pundits — are omnipresent if not omniscient in our lives.

It was not always so. Once, poets were society's heroes, swains who sang sweet songs about love and life reflecting on questions of immortality. "Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil," wrote John Milton for a poet who died young. Through the ages it was the secular poets and religious preachers who brought us together in days for mourning. John Donne was both poet and preacher when he said, "Death, be not proud."

For those who mourn Tim Russert but never knew him, he was a symbol of the life cut short in a time when greater longevity promises greater possibility. His death, as death often does, caught us by surprise. We busy our minds with politics and other things to flee the deeper thoughts of mortality, and Tim Russert's death blocked that escape, at least for a moment. Instead of delivering the news, he became the news — and we invested feelings of pity and fear along with our lamentations: "There but for the grace of God, go I."

He was, after all, a Baby Boomer, a member of that sociological cohort that once thought it could freeze youth in a bottle, never to trust anyone over 30. Boomers were no better than those before them at repealing the Biblical injunction that "it is appointed unto man once to die," though a lot of them have grown up to trust men and women ripened by time and experience. Our culture continues to obsess over today, taking no time to consider the morrow, and we're angered and frustrated when the grim reaper slashes our assumptions.

These reflections are easier away from the nattering and noise of the chattering class in Washington, where it's difficult to stop to watch an orange sunset, listen to the rapid flutter of a hummingbird's wing or dine leisurely on soft-shell crab freshly drawn from the Bay. The rhythms of life and death are different in the countryside — that's why poets cast their elegies in a pastoral setting.

For most of us, the death of Tim Russert was not an intimate loss. We did not know him beyond his television presence, so we mourn for a larger-than-life symbol. "No young man," wrote the poet William Hazlitt, "believes he shall ever die." We've extended that notion to middle age and to the "young old," who make up the current demographic euphemism ("70 is the new 50"), respected mostly in Washington because the American Association of Retired Persons is one of the most powerful lobbies in town.

It's natural for the media to lionize one of their own. John Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Matthew Arnold did that, too, in elegies once read by every schoolchild. In "Ado nais," Shelley compares Keats to the G-d of the Hebrew Bible and to Greek gods of the sun and fertility. Thomas Gray rebelled against mourning for those who enjoyed the "pomp of power," the rich and famous of the 18th century. In an "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," he dedicates a dirge to the homely plowman who plods his weary way on the pathways of life, observing that death is the great equalizer: "The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

In Washington, we argue endlessly over the problems of education and the quality of learning in our schools and universities. We emphasize the importance of competition in a global economy — no one can overestimate the urgency of learning math and science. But we often forget the humanities and the emotional and intellectual bond forged between the culture and the individual by the written word. We diminish the need for broadening the mind through the creative genius of great poets and novelists. Academics often deconstruct fine writing into narrow political theory and reduce critical thinking to propagandistic blather.

In "The New Criterion," a magazine of intelligent criticism of the liberal arts, Joseph Epstein, who was once an English teacher, argues that reading great literature offers "useful knowledge into the mysteries of life." Literature provides exceptions that prove no rule in the human drama, but instead offer an enhanced appreciation for "the inestimable value of human liberty." A public death begets the universal perceptions of the poet.

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