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

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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 29, 2007 / 10 Nissan 5767

Messages to my son

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My Beloved Caleb,

You're 10! I can't believe a decade has elapsed since I wrote the first of these annual letters to you.

"You are only 16 days old," that first letter began, "and virtually everything about you is still a mystery." I marveled at the emotion I felt for an infant I barely knew, and prayed that life would bring you many blessings. But the real point of that letter was that I was already thinking about your character, and how much I wanted you to grow up to be decent, kind, and honest. "Like every parent, I want you to do well," I wrote. "But more than anything else, I want you to do good."

Ten years later, I know so much more about you than I did then. I know that you have a good mind and are an avid reader. I know that you love vanilla ice cream but recoil from grilled-cheese sandwiches. I know that you will try to brazen your way through even the most obvious lie. I know that you're an uncomplaining patient when you're sick and a champion sulker when you're angry. I know that you dote on your little brother.

I also know that your formative years are speeding by. Before long you'll be an adolescent, then a young adult, then off on your own. For better or for worse, your upbringing is half over. But the message of that first letter — character matters and I want yours to be good — is one that I still try to communicate to you. You've certainly heard me say it often enough. When I asked you a few weeks ago to tell Micah what I want both of you to be when you grow up, you knew the answer: "A good person," you replied, with a here-we-go-again roll of your eyes.

About a year before you were born, I reviewed a book by Calvin Trillin called Messages from My Father. It was a heartwarming memoir of Trillin's immigrant father, Abe, and the assorted lessons — some wise, some quite mad — he had conveyed over the years to his son. When I read the book I wasn't yet a father, but as I think about it now, I can't help wondering which messages from your father will stay with you through the years.

Some messages I try to convey through behavior more than words.

I want you and Micah to become loving fathers and husbands, so I make sure that open affection is something you see and get a lot of. Some men are inhibited about kissing or hugging their wives, or addressing them with terms of endearment; you're growing up in an environment where your father makes no secret of his love for your mother.

I hope your children will grow up in a similar environment.

Speaking of your children, I have been shamelessly propagandizing you for years on the advantages of marrying early and having lots of kids — two things I didn't do but wish I had. "When you're 22 years old and you get married and have five children," I remember asking you when you were about 4, "what will their names be?" (As I recall, you said they would all be named Caleb.)

Another message I hope is getting through via example is the importance of apologizing when you've wronged another person. When Mama or I think we've treated you unjustly — perhaps by blaming you for something that wasn't your fault, or overreacting to something that was — we make a point of sincerely saying, "I'm sorry." Some people would rather chew glass than say those two words — but learning to do so is part of being a mature and decent person.

Of course I try to teach you to be nice to your family and friends, but I also want you to learn to empathize even with strangers. Some years ago I adopted a practice that I first encountered in an essay by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin: Whenever we are startled or inconvenienced by the siren of an ambulance or fire truck, I offer a prayer that the EMTs or firefighters arrive in time to help whoever is in danger. "By accustoming ourselves to uttering a prayer at the very moment we feel unjustly annoyed," Telushkin wrote, "we become better and more loving people."

In some ways you are well on your way to becoming a "better and more loving" person. In others, you — like me — still have some distance to go. But at the 10-year mark, Caleb, I've got to say: You're a pretty terrific kid.

All my love,

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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