In this issue
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 Feb. 17, 2011 / 13 Adar I, 5771

Achy regrets of a broken family

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I told you so, Billy Ray Cyrus, but you wouldn't listen.

In 2007, I wrote a column about the iconic (because of the mullet) Billy Ray Cyrus and his famous daughter, Miley, criticizing the celebrity dad for describing his relationship with his daughter as that of "best friends."

Back then, Mr. Cyrus and Miley were riding the Disney Channel wave, starring in the wildly successful show "Hannah Montana." In an interview, the former one-hit wonder turned family man/actor (don't pretend you don't remember "Achy Breaky Heart") discussed his faith-based approach to parenting and revealed that the real reason he took the role of Hannah Montana's sitcom father was to have something to do while he supervised his underage daughter on the set.

His repeated references to his Christian faith, his apparent dedication to his wife and four other children, and his earnest hope to control the media frenzy around his child-star daughter, struck me as laudable.

But that whole "best friend" thing irked me. Here's what I said then: "I don't really believe Cyrus wants to play the role of Miley's BFF. But when he had the chance to say so, I just wish Billy Ray had made a stronger statement about the part that only he can play (and apparently the casting folks at Disney agree) — that of a father."

I was wrong. He did want to be Miley's best friend.

Mr. Cyrus didn't read that column, nor did he listen to lots of other folks who admonished him to be a stronger father to his vulnerable daughter. Today, he regrets it.

In an article in the March issue of GQ magazine, Mr. Cyrus says "Hannah Montana" destroyed his family, causing his marriage to fail and Miss Cyrus to spin out of control.

Miss Cyrus, for those who follow only serious news, has spent the better part of three years transitioning from "tween idol" to "tacky teen star," with missteps such as a partially nude Annie Leibovitz photo shoot, an appearance on a Teen Choice Awards show that included pole-dancing choreography and, more recently, alleged photos of her smoking from a bong at her 18th birthday party.

In the GQ article, based on a December interview with Mr. Cyrus at his home in Tennessee where he now lives alone, the veteran singer/actor acknowledges that he made mistakes. "How many interviews did I give and say, 'You know what's important between me and Miley is I try to be a friend to my kids'? I said it a lot. And sometimes I would even read other parents might say, 'You don't need to be a friend, you need to be a parent.' Well, I'm the first guy to say to them right now: You were right."

Today, his daughter's future is being directed by "handlers" who apparently have little interest in her well-being and none in Mr. Cyrus' input, and his entire family is essentially obliterated.

Mr. Cyrus now wishes the Disney gig had never come along, though he expresses this notion as though it were something that just fell into their lives like an unexpected rainstorm. "I hate to say it, but … I'd erase it all in a second if I could," he said.

It's a cautionary American tale: Be careful what you wish for, especially if it's fame and fortune. In today's culture, a solid marriage based on the foundation of a shared faith is no match for the vagaries of child stardom and all its attendant idolatry.

Then again, on the slim chance Mr. Cyrus reads my column this time around, it wasn't "Hannah Montana" that destroyed your family, sir. It was the fault of a husband and father who led them into the lion's den, and now wonders why they were eaten alive.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks