It is difficult to describe the sickening, gut-wrenching sensation I experience when I get phone calls from parents whose children were sexually abused or from adults who have carried the horrible scars of childhood abuse for decades, often shredding their relationships and ruining their lives.
In last week's column, a parent named Sara asked how she should deal with a book she bought on the planets that contains text describing the world as being 15 billion years old. She questioned if she ought to read it to her children and discuss with them the fact that there are people who believe this - while sharing with them our belief that the Torah teaches us that the world is 5,766 years old.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: Recently, I bought a book on the planets that begins with a description of a 15 billion-year-old world. Can I read that book to my children and discuss with them the fact that there are people (even smart people) in the world who believe this, yet help them understand our belief that the Torah - which is the emes - teaches us that the world is 5,768 years old? I want my children to know that there are people who incorrectly believe this, and I also would like them to hear this from me - and not from someone who doesn't have proper hashkafos. At the same time, I understand that the theory of evolution is not accepted in the Torah world. I hope I am not putting you in an uncomfortable position with this question. Sara
As Bnei Yisroel passed through the land of Ya'azer and Gilad in the "Ever HaYarden" (land East of the Jordan River) they noticed that the land was very fertile and quite suitable for grazing animals.
Rabbi Horowitz: We are not quite sure how to respond to the request of our 12-year-old son, who is begging us to be "left alone" for the second "trip" (the last four weeks of summer) and not attend a local day camp.
Our Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs face the growing rate of childhood obesity. "Overweight children are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to grow into obese adults. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bone and joint problems, asthma, and several types of cancer," says Chaya Stern, RPA and nutritionist.
The sweet and salty salvation of picky eaters across the lunchroom has become public enemy number one to many children. The tub of peanut butter that taught me the meaning of "industrial size," is no longer relevant in many schools.