Raising Your Child to Be a Mensch
In his treatise on education, THE ABOLITION OF MAN, C.S. Lewis warns that the relativization of morality-- reducing it to a set of feelings with no extrinsic standard--will produce a generation of “men without chests": individuals who are technically competent but who have no hearts, no commitment to goodness. It is the possibility of such a scenario that has prompted Neil Kursham to write RAISING YOUR CHILD TO BE A MENSCH. In many American urban centers, highly educated parents put their infants’ names on waiting lists for the best kindergartens; opportunities for children’s academic and physical education abound. At the same time, the cultural diversity of modern cities, more than the skepticism of philosophers, has contributed to a widespread moral uncertainty: Amid the proliferation of beliefs and life-styles, how can I be sure that my own are valid? Have I any right to shape my children’s values?
Kursham responds to these and related questions with an impassioned plea for parents to embrace traditional Judeo-Christian values (as exemplified in the Ten Commandments) and to pass them on to their children. “Mensch” is a Yiddish word that, according to the book’s dust jacket, means “decent, responsible, caring person.” A mensch gives of himself to others. More than in rising to the top, making good grades, achieving financial success, a mensch is interested in relieving suffering, showing kindness, being honest. Such goals, Kurshan...
(The entire section is 341 words.)
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