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Give Your Child Military Training

Friday, 11 November, 2011 - 1:05 pm

You may not follow NCAA Football (like me), but you most likely heard the horrifying story that broke this week of the former assistant coach at Penn State who was a serial child molester.
The scariest part of the story is the revelation that so many people at the school knew about the allegations and did little or nothing at all to stop it.

To me, the most instructional part of this terrible story was the reaction of a graduate student who caught this despicable assistant coach in the act and didn’t call the police! He first discussed it with his father, then the head coach, but never went to the police! His inexplicable decision enabled this monster of an individual to continue with his behavior for many more years, in which time he doubtlessly damaged many more lives.

This story serves to highlight the seriousness with which we must approach our obligation of educating our children. In a time when there is so much moral ambiguity, we must teach our children that there is right and there is wrong. Good and absolute evil. Not “good and not so good” or “good and possibly bad.” Good and bad. There must be clear red lines - this we do and this we do not.

How does this connect to making moral decisions? When children are raised with an acute sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, they are immeasurably better equipped to make the right decision when called to the task.

Today is Veteran’s Day, and we can learn an important lesson from the military training of every soldier. They endure rigorous ongoing training - for what purpose? To be able to march properly? No, it is to enable them to think clearly and make the right decision when under fire.

We have the moral obligation (in addition to the Torah obligation) to educate our children correctly. When we educate our children with the limitations (yes, healthy limitations) imposed by the Torah; this you can eat, this you can’t; today you can work, other days you can’t; this arms them for life.

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Here’s a great article by radio talk-show host Michael Medved on this idea:
http://www.jewishfolsom.org/42901

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