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December 2, 2014

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

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 25, 2008 / 22 Sivan 5768

Could we talk honestly about this?

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We all knew Barack Obama was quite the rhetorician, and once again he's demonstrated his way with words — and not just words but thought. It happened when he was called on to deliver a Father's Day sermon at a largely black church on Chicago's South Side.


It could have been just another ceremonial occasion at the Apostolic Church of G-d, and just another appearance on a presidential candidate's crowded speaking schedule. Instead, the senator used the occasion to issue a moral challenge. Because this guest speaker had come not to praise the American father but to ask where he'd gone.


Barack Obama, U.S. senator and family man, could have delivered another routine paean to what the pollsters and political consultants have labeled Family Values, thereby reducing them to a standard political shtick. Instead, Barack Obama recalled his own fatherless childhood, and how his grandparents stepped in to provide support, guidance, love — in short, family.


As he pointed out: "A lot of children don't get those chances. There is no margin for error in their lives." And no father to step in and do what dads are supposed to do, which is a lot.


That's when Barack Obama took aim at all those who want to blame the declining state of the American family, particularly the black family, on handy scapegoats like Social Injustice, the Legacy of Slavery and Segregation, and all too painfully on — rather than working to overcome all that history family by family, father by father:


"We can't simply write these problems off to past injustices," Sen. Obama told his listeners. "Those injustices are real. There's a reason our families are in disrepair ... but we can't keep using that as an excuse."


Too many glib demagogues have done just that. And in making excuses, they have obscured the devotion of those fathers — and grandfathers — who embody the best of the past and therefore nurture the future. See Clarence Thomas' moving memoir of his grandfather ("My Grandfather's Son"), and the strength, independence, and iron will the old man passed on to a young boy who is now an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States — with a mind, will and character of his own.


In his book, Justice Thomas recalls how he and his brother bristled at the discipline — and high expectations — that this older, largely uneducated but utterly self-reliant black man in tiny Pinpoint, Ga., imposed on his grandsons. Any boys would resist such a regimen, being boys. For in his grandfather's house, it was all work by day and all study after the sun set — and maybe before it arose, too.


Young Clarence did not fully understand what his grandfather was giving him, not then, for he was a child and saw as a child. "But as I grew older," Mr. Justice Thomas writes now, and "made my own way in the world, and raised a son, I came to appreciate what I had not understood as a child: I had been raised by the greatest man I have ever known."


How we need not just such paternal models, but fathers of all styles and persuasions. For there are different ways of being a good father, which first means being a good husband, and then being there for the kids. Last Sunday, Father's Day, Barack Obama had the candor to point to the man who isn't there in too many American "families" today. Good for him.


Perhaps someday someone, even a presidential candidate with much to lose by being candid, will rise on Mother's Day and point out that bringing children into the world without a father to complete the family, and to help rear and provide for the next generation, also helps explain what's wrong with much of American society. And why so many of our children are being raised, as Sen. Obama put it, with no margin for error.


Let's not overlook maternal irresponsibility, either, or make excuses for it. It merits the same kind of moral indictment that Barack Obama, to popular applause and general approbation last week, drew up against the absentee father.


Single young mothers — and their children — need all the support and guidance their families and society can provide. But so do young, vulnerable girls — little more than children themselves — in a sociey where all the forces of vulgar fashion and the omnipresent media conspire to turn adolescents into sexpots.


In this latest age of sexual liberation (mainly for the male of the species) we need to transmit the age-old wisdom of the species — what used to be called mother wit — to each generation. Namely, the fundamental importance of the marital and family bond.


The Victorians understood the centrality of the family in the nation. So did the Puritans before them, and on back to the sayings of Confucius and the detailed statutes and ordinances of the Torah. But man forgets the old lessons, and children pay the price. So does society in general.


Excuses are a luxury that those concerned about the American family can no longer afford. Freedom, independence, character — like so many good things, those begin at home. With families. And with responsible fathers — and mothers.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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