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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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The setups among the several hotels around the globe that offer Pesach getaways vary, as do cost and level of extravagance. Happy to hear of your positive experiences and appreciate your taking the time to comment.

Dear Rachel,

Yomim Tovim are a great way to spend quality time with family and observe personal interactions close up. I feel the urge to bring up a subject seldom talked about: the role of older siblings in the large household.

As an example, take the family with seven children, bli ayin hora, all under the age of ten or twelve. The oldest is merely a child yet is made to watch over the younger ones, fetch things for busy mommy, take Junior to the potty, or even diaper the baby.

Some may call this good training and valuable experience, and maybe rightly so. However, all of this serious responsibility may be overwhelming for some of these children who are being deprived of their childhood.

A Bystander

Dear Bystander,

There is wisdom in your words and parents must be vigilant in this regard. Even while the older child is subservient, an inner resentment may build and explode later on, leaving parents to wonder what happened and where they went wrong.

While teaching children responsibility at a young age is a good thing, parents ought to keep in mind that ten or twelve-year olds are children too and in desperate need of individualized love and attention to boot. And if they can’t act their age now, when then?

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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