“Did you want to explain to my son what you did? And what do I tell the rabbi?” he said while filming Wacha next to the destroyed toy, a plush Torah given to Benjamin by the family’s rabbi.
The seemingly innocuous incident attracted plenty of negative attention. Commenters criticized Cohen for treating the incident playfully instead of seriously. In a video response (also on Instagram stories), Cohen says that he was “flooded” with DMs from people who saw not the fairly harmless antics of a loveable dog but the danger of a pet jealous of a new baby.
Cohen pushed back on the criticism, saying “sometimes a Torah toy is just a Torah toy everybody.” Cohen also pointed out that he’d been a dad for just 12 days.
It’s not the first time in his short parenting career — Benjamin was born to a surrogate on February 4 — that Cohen has riled up online parent shamers. He shared a photo of himself wearing a baby carrier with his son in it on a private plane and promptly heard from lots of people who said the infant, then just days old, was too young to fly.
Airlines have different rules but, for context, American Airlines lets kids as young as two days old fly with a physician’s permission.
In yet another Instagram post, Cohen showed a swaddled Benjamin sleeping in a crib with pillows, a decision that was criticized because having anything beyond a tight sheet and swaddle in an infant’s crib can increase the risk of SIDS.
It doesn’t seem likely that Cohen, who has three million Instagram followers and posed with his newborn on the cover of People, will suddenly stop posting about his own parenting and based on his response, he doesn’t seem to mind taking on ignorant parent shamers.