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 June 21, 2010 / 9 Tamuz 5770

This One's for All the Fathers Who Walk Out

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every year, Father's Day brings a rash of newspaper columns. They are usually folksy nods to the father-child relationship.

There are fond memories of playing catch or going fishing with Dad, or tear-jerking accounts of a father who recently passed away. Usually, these well-received columns culminate in an appreciation of the man, something sweet he always did, something wise he always said, some love he always showed.

This is not one of those columns.

Father's Day has arrived again. But in 2010, we in Detroit -- and to a large degree the rest of the country -- are luxuriating when we tell baseball and fishing stories. The fact is, we are pretty much down to celebrating fathers who stick around.

According to data, one in three American kids now lives in a home without a father. Among African Americans, it's nearly double that. In Detroit, the problem is everywhere. Fathers walk out. Fathers disappear. More commonly, fathers never come around to begin with.

All those moments that get celebrated on Father's Day -- taking a boy to his first ballgame, giving a girl her first tricycle -- these men are not interested. They are fathers only in a primal, biological sense.

They are, in many senses, like ghosts.

Yet like ghosts, they haunt.

Run a list of bad behavior. You can multiply it if no father is around. Higher chance of committing a crime. Higher chance of getting hooked on drugs. Higher chance of winding up poor. Higher chance of landing behind bars. Higher chance of depression. Higher chance of suicide. Higher chance of violent behavior.

And the worst of all, higher chance of doing the same thing somewhere down the road -- leaving a family, or walking away from a marriage.

All because a man was plenty interested in having sex, and not the slightest bit interested in the consequences.

In Detroit, we are in a soul-searching time. Who do we want to be as a city? How do we want to look? Our mayor and city council debate budgets, buildings, staffing, urban planning.

But let's be honest. Unless more fathers start taking responsibility, none of this is going to matter. Schools can't replace what a father teaches. Cops can't stop what a father can. We are trying to fix a city with paperwork, when the real shortage is human direction. Men who actually take responsibility for the children they create.

It makes me furious. It should make you furious. There is no shortage of the activity that creates babies. That's happening more and more and younger and younger. Just once, you want to blast a megaphone during one of those bedroom trysts and scream, "Are you both ready for 18 years of diapers, doctors, schools and temper tantrums?"

Instead, nine months later, a baby comes along, and far too often, the mother -- or an aunt or a grandparent -- winds up taking charge, while the father is off to something, or somebody, else.

Put a father and a mother in the same home, and our education problems will lessen. Put a father and mother in the same home and the crime problem will become more manageable, the neighborhoods more livable.

There is so much data on this, it will spin your head. Yet we continue the culture of "baby daddy," where men can be identified as a father but barely held accountable.

It is time to stop this. And while I would like to appeal to the men, it's pretty clear that isn't working. So it may be time to appeal to the women. Do not accept this burden. Do not accept this "as the way it is." Refuse to get involved. Refuse you-know-what.

But refuse. Because we as a society need to refuse this pattern. We are destroying our future. We are sinking our city before we even try to rebuild it.

So, no, this is not the typical Father's Day column, but in the spirit of those pieces, I guess we can celebrate something. We can celebrate the fathers who, every day, do the simplest but greatest thing: accept, love and protect the children they bring into the world.

It seems so obvious.

So why isn't it?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives