Tuesday, July 25, 2017

That terrible 9 Days WhatsApp Screed

If you belong to an Orthodox Jewish WhatsApp group it is ultra likely you've received the following 9 Days screed.

My small fisks of this stupid thing are in BOLD

Nine days menu ideas.

Have your ever gone to be menachem Avel a woman who lost her young husband?

Have your ever been in a shiva home where a woman is mourning the loss of her vibrant father? Have you ever offered  comfort to a girl who lost her mother?

Sadly, all of us have been in these situations. We come, carrying pans of food and we leave the offerings of our heart on the overflowing counters and tables.

But, take a look at the aveilim. The young woman , with the seven orphaned children. Is she talking about the Pistachio Sea Bass ? If she is, everyone understands that it's just to divert her mind from her burning pain.

All year, we divert our mind from our loss.

Sure, most of us fast on Tisha B'Av , and we all have a Zecher L'Churban in our foyer.

DB: We all have a what in our where? Ok, sure fine, I am familiar with the commemoration the author has in mind, but do all of us really have foyers??

But really, when is the last time we cried as we davened that Ha shem should return us to Eretz Yisroel?

Once a year, we get a chance to seriously focus on our huge loss. The tragedy of being sent away from our land where we all lived together and Torah was the law of the land.

DB: Our prophets and sages have provided theological explanations for the destruction. Torah not being the law of the land if one them. Infighting, which would suggest we didn't quite "live together" is another.

Our Chachomim knew that's as time would go by, It would be hard for us to cry and feel the pain of all that was taken away from us.

So they gave us laws that would help put us In a mourning mood.

DB: No. The purpose of the laws [sic more correctly "rabbinic decree"] is to reduce joy, not to create mourning

No meat! No chicken! No wine! No grape juice!

There are so many other laws, but for now let's look at these.

A succulent standing rib roast, a glazed roasted turkey, lamb chops and grilled baby chicken; we don't prepare these foods unless it's for a Seudas mitzva or a Siyum.

DB: We have grilled chicken at least once per week

So what should we eat in [sic: "during"] the Nine Days?

DB: Anything but.... Meat! Chicken! Wine! and Grape Juice!

Well, how about Roasted Portabella with marinated Goat Cheese and Arugula over artisanal bread?

What about Authentic hand rolled Tortellini with homemade Tomato and just snipped Basil sauce?

Is this really what Chazal had in mind?

DB: Chazal lived in the ANE. I am therefore altogether certain they didn't have in mind pasta, tomatoes or basil. On the other hand, they probably ate goat cheese and artisanal bread every day!! (Artisanal means "food made in a non-mechanized way" or, in other words, "everything Chazal ate every single day

Was it just a change in menu?

We used to be so close to Avinu Shebashamayim. We visited our father in His House!

We saw, heard, smelled and tasted His presence. We knew with every part of our body that He loves us.

We left His House with gifts. Gifts of awareness and clarity that held us until we came again.

DB: If the Temple made such a magnificent positive impression on everybody as this article suggests why did they worship the idols that led to its destruction?

And when we missed our Father so much and we couldn't visit, we had a Neviah. She told us what our Father wants.She told us how to be a better wife, mother and daughter.

DB: Who is this Neviah? Anyone know?
And it was way different than therapy.

DB: I bet it was, not that the author of this piece should be so quick to write off therapy.
When we listened to the Neviah, we had success in every relationship.

DB: And it rained golden coins, and the kids obeyed, and the cows gave scotch whiskey. What a time it was! 

Oh! How painful is this void!

DB: Well, yes, if you're going to conjure up an imaginary world where everyone was happy and perfect and holy and satisfied you are going to feel a "painful void" when you compare it with the actual, real world.

Here we are searching for answers wishing we could have this type of guidance.

DB: Show of hands: Who among you have wished for guidance from a Neviah? Also, is it just me or does this author sound mournfully unhappy?

Every tragedy today has its roots in the Churban.

Have some sun dried tomato tilapia ?

We are in pain! And if we aren't , we are to act like we are.

DB: Chzal did not say act like you are in pain. Chazal said reduce joy

Eating gourmet foods? Dining in fine restaurants? Standing and assembling complicated dairy recipes?!

Not for us. Those recipes are for Shavuos.

These Nine Days I want to focus and think. I want to feel what I have lost.

We are mourning. We lost our husband, mother, and father.

DB: People who have lost actual parents rather than the figurative parents discussed in this article still get hungry and eat meat. During shiva people eat meat. You can be super sad and super conscious of loss while you are eating meat. The issue, as already noted, is meat (esp. in the old days) is associated with joy, and we don't display outward signs of joy during the 9 days.

And so my dear sisters, what do you eat when you're writhing in pain and sadness? What do you cook when you are so depressed that tears are falling into your pots?

DB: Sisters?! Apparently the author lives in a world where everyone has a foyer, grilled chicken is reserved for special occasions, and no male people cook.

What do you serve your family when grief is so strong it surrounds you?

A tuna wrap. Eggs. Macaroni and cheese.Pizza.

DB: Ok so chazal had pizza in mind, but not artisanal bread?  Really? Also, "when grief is so strong it surrounds you" many people reach for what is called comfort food, and no one in history ever used that phrase to describe a tuna wrap

Anything that takes fifteen minutes to prepare.

DB: But not sixteen! Otherwise you are literally trampling on the ashes of the Temple!

No one will starve. And if the kids ask, "Why are we having scrambled eggs and toast for supper?"

DB: ...because the rest of the year all the other women make me feel bad with the FB snaps of their gourmet meals, and now I can shame them for showing me up: BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TEMPLES?! HOW CAN YOU EVEN EAT FANCY FOOD?!  ITS SO SAD!]

Look at them in their eyes.

And say,"Cuz I'm sad. And I can't eat or cook fancy foods when I'm sad."

DB: What if cooking is something I can actually do when I am sad? But never mind:  Hey ladyz who hate to cook: this is your get out of jail free card!

And maybe then we and our families will feel the sadness of the Churban and be zoche to see the words of our Neviim come true, and eat with happiness on the new Yom Tov on our calendar: Tisha B'Av

DB: And maybe when self-righteous people with no understanding of halacha or reality stop shaming people with silly and judgmental WhatsApp screeds about how we all need to eat pizza we will be zoche, etc, etc, bemhayra bayomaynu amen.

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