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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 June 23, 2014 / 25 Sivan, 5774

When did fathers become expendable?

By Mitch Albom




JewishWorldReview.com | Last week was Father's Day. We know that from the calendar, the lines at restaurants and the holiday sales at Best Buy.

But the rest of the year, fatherhood is shrinking in significance. I'm not just talking about physical absence — a third of American kids now live without their biological fathers — I'm talking about perceived importance. More and more, fathers are being viewed as less than necessary.

A 2010 study concluded that children of lesbian parents fared just as well — if not better — than those from a traditional man-woman marriage. A 2013 book stated "the notion that fathering is essential to children's ... development seems to be a uniquely American preoccupation."

And take this recent exchange on "The View," an ABC show with a massive female audience. A guest host, an actor named Terry Crews, had floated the idea that "there are some things only a father can give you." He was deluged by objection — both on social media and on the set.

When he said, "A father gives you your name," cohost Whoopi Goldberg joked, "Like in 'The Lion King?' " When he said "a father gives you your security" and "your confidence," cohost Jenny McCarthy, who is raising a son on her own, shot back, "I'm a single mother and I guarantee you, I can give (my son) all those things."

The debate went on for several minutes at a high volume, with the female hosts paying homage to widows, single moms and gay couples, and McCarthy hammering at the idea that her "amazing" son needs no man.

And while I know the show is not scientific, it's entertainment, it still got me thinking how far we have come, that on network TV, a man suggesting "there are some things only a father can give you" is greeted not with agreeing nods but with cannon fire.

BAD BEHAVIOR BY SOME FATHERS

On some levels, we men must blame ourselves. The number of fathers who take no responsibility for parenting — who impregnate and run as if they are pollinating flowers — is despicably high. Same goes for disinterested divorced men and deadbeat dads. They have forced single mothers into playing all roles.

But what about the fathers who stay? The fathers who relish their roles? Is citing their virtues now politically incorrect?

Take the sentence "there are some things only a mother can provide." Does anyone disagree with that? You say "nurturing," everyone nods. You say "unconditional love," everyone nods.

But try saying that sentence about a father — as Crews did — and it's as if you're hammering people's toes. "A father provides security," you suggest? Oh come on, comes the response, as if a woman can't? "A father provides discipline"? Don't single moms keep kids in line? "A father provides a male role model." So now you're insulting gay couples?

Whew. When did it become so difficult to extol fatherhood? Perhaps when there became other agendas. An author of that 2010 study on lesbian parenting, for example, also has argued there is no need for marriage whatsoever. She also chided President Barack Obama, saying his emphasis on fathers' importance was "dead wrong." Even the New York Times, for Father's Day in 2013, stirred debate — and presumably readers — by asking, "Do fathers bring anything unique to the table?"

But if they don't, why does nearly every statistic on kids turn sour when fathers disappear? Youth suicides, five times higher than average. High school dropouts, nine times higher. Behavioral disorders, 20 times higher. Runaways and homeless children, 32 times higher.

Does none of that count?

WHEN FATHER KNOWS BEST

We all recognize it's a changing world. And I would not use this space to disparage single parents, or two men or two women raising children. But if it's now insensitive to even question gay parenting, why does it ruffle no feathers to dismiss heterosexual dads? No one should be made to feel a traditional role is prehistoric thinking. That's bullying of its own kind.

What does a father bring to the table? I can cite a few things I got from my own: Strength. Quiet confidence. Discipline. Responsibility. And love — all displayed differently than my mother, which was fine. My father also taught us how to be a husband, how to respect a woman, when to lead and when to support.

It's true, not all men are like my dad. But plenty are. And fatherhood didn't suddenly, after thousands of years, lose its value. It may be trendy to dismiss dads as little more than fertilizer, but it's not true. In fact, it's pretty foolish. Such is our world, where a comment like Crews' brings a tsunami. Funny thing is, I remember someone from my childhood frequently saying, "He needs his father to do that."

It was my mother.

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