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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

The Ten Plagues: Rated 'R' for Retribution

By Rabbi David Zauderer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Following a class that I gave about the Passover Seder and its symbolism, a young man approached me. He made a charge that at first blush seemed bizarre but in retrospect provoked considerable thought. Passover, he asserted, was a terrible holiday for children.

A terrible holiday for children?

Though this fellow would have been wrong to make a similar claim about, say, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, when the kids have to sit in the synagogue all day through all those "boring" services, at least the claim would be understandable. But Passover?!

I loved Passover as a child! How can anyone think that Passover, of all holidays, isn't kosher for kids?

Then he elaborated. At the Passover Seder, the family -- sometimes multi-generations -- sit around munching Matzah and drinking wine. But we also commemorate that the Almighty brought Ten Plagues to punish the Egyptians --- including the murder of all Egyptian firstborns. It was with the latter my student had a problem. "Why," he demanded, "should we teach our children to extol this?"

Consider what would happen today if Hollywood remade the famous epic, "The Ten Commandments". With Sean Connery cast as Moses -- and the latest technology used to recreate the Ten Plagues in vivid detail -- if the producers were faithful to the Author's original "script", viewers would see frogs jumping into Egyptians' throats, killer locusts striking, and the entire Egyptian army drowning in the sea as the ancient Hebrews managed to make it safely to the other side. What kind of "rating" do you think the movie would garner? Truthfully, would you let your little ones view it, Two Thumbs Way Up or not? I think not! And yet we bring our children to the Passover Seder each year to read about -- indeed, take pride in -- those very same stories! Mr. Righteous Indignation has got a point there, doesn't he?


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To the best of my knowledge, in thousands of years of Seders, there's never been one documented case of "Post-Haggadic Traumatic Stress Disorder". Another Passover miracle?

No. It's because there is a crucial distinction between unwarranted, wanton acts of violence, and justified retribution and punishment.

Allow me to explain with a slight digression. Many of today's "social scientists" have argued against corporal punishment even of deserving children. Children who are "hit" by their parents will, they claim, learn to hit their peers.

These acknowledged experts might have a valid point --- but for a very different reason.

Today, it has become increasingly popular -- and accepted -- for a parent to be more of a buddy than authority figure. In some cases, immature and under-educated children are actually being given an equal say in how they should be raised.

In Ye Days of Old, most parents conveyed to their children in no uncertain terms that it was they who knew what was best for them. This transformative trend in child rearing has not come without a cost.

We moderns may be "closer" to our kids than our parents were to us --- and some will say that on account of our "buddy relationship" with our kids, we relate to them much better than our parents related to us . But the downside of this is that in our role as best friend to our children, we often tend to lose the perceived sense of authority that turns unjustified abuse into justified discipline.

We need to find that balance between friend and authority figure.

So it's no wonder, then, when we discipline our kids, who think of us as their buddies, that they will resent it and ultimately learn from what we are doing to them that it's okay to hit someone when you want to get them to do something for you.

But that's not the way it should be, of course. Kids have to understand that they are not their parent's equals. Parents are there to be role models for them and to set rules and standards that they must obey in order that they grow up to become decent, caring members of society. And if we can get that notion across to our children, then when we discipline them, even if they won't always agree with us, at least they can accept that the disciplinary measure meted out to them is a punishment from those who are entrusted with their personal welfare and spiritual growth, and they won't extend that to their friends in school.

And that's exactly what I answered this young man who felt that Passover is not kosher for kids.

We should never confuse the Divine retribution that the Almighty brought upon the Egyptians (who had persecuted and tortured our people and who had thrown our babies into the Nile, among other things), with the kind of wanton, unnecessary and unjustified violence and murder that we try to shield our children from in movies and computer games. There is a big difference. It's the difference between being smacked or firmly disciplined by your father who knows what's best for you, and being hit by the class bully in school.

At the Passover Seder, we teach our children that there is Divine justice in the world, and that evil actions should not go unpunished, and that the Almighty, Who is our Father in Heaven, cares very much about the world and gets involved in making sure that the bad guys lose in the end. And those are important lessons that our kids can live with --- not just at the Passover Seder, but the whole year round .... unlike all the violent T.V. shows and movies that our kids often watch, and that they can definitely live without!

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JWR contributor Rabbi Dovid Zauderer is a Toronto-based college outreach rabbi.


© 2013, Rabbi Dovid Zauderer