Previous American crises always had an identifiable, external cause that could be remedied, however painfully. But this time there is no external cause. The enemy is us. Americans are suffering from corrupt values.
We all like to be loved. We all desire to be admired. But we Rabbis must resist the urge for mainstream approval and promote the interests of our people at whatever price and serve as lights unto the nations at whatever cost.
In our hyper-politicized climate it is not surprising that everyone would point to a political cause for what is essentially a values-based issue. The values that our culture uses to define male success is becoming ever more extreme.
As our children become couch potatoes, we often focus on how this contributes to childhood obesity, but we overlook how it also contributes to a constrained mental outlook and a character of artifice.
Effective child-rearing involves finding the balance between how much we ought to actively chisel our children into what we believe is the perfect image versus passively allowing their own personalities and gifts to unfold.
I don't want to be a prude or come across as the predictable religious party-pooper. But I have to ask the executives of MTV and producers of Skins: Really? Even this? Is there no line you won't cross for profits?
Yes, Mr. President. We need better schools and more accountable teachers. But more than anything we need new values that undergird the schools, the parents, and the teachers.