Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Overheard on a Jewish street near you

Overheard on a Jewish street near you

Lefty: Psss. Hey buddy. C'mere
Ernie: Who me?
Ernie (whispering) Who me?
Lefty: Yeah. You. C'mere. How would you like to buy "Immeasurable Reward in Olam Habah."
Ernie: Immeasurable Reward in Olam Habah!!
Ernie:(whispering) Immeasurable Reward in Olam Habah!!
Lefty: Riiiiiiiight! And for no extra money you also get to help Torah U'Mesorah buy life insurance policies for male, Judaic study teachers.
Ernie: Male, Judaic study teachers!!!
Lefty: SHHHHHH! You know. Rabayim
Ernie: Well...
Lefty: Come on kid. Don't ask any questions. Today's your lucky day. Just buy it and take it home tonight. You'll really love it. Just buy the Immeasurable Reward in Olam Habah and take it home tonight

Unpalatable as it may sound, the skit you have just read is basicly the idea behind Torah U'Mesorah's latest scheme. What you do is play the special Torah Umesorah lottery, and as the ad promises, immeasurable reward in Olam Habah will be yours.


I've composed a short list of the things I find offensive about this initiative:

1 - Only Rabayim benefit. Not female teachers. Not secular teachers.
2 - Isn't gambling, like, wrong? Or at least anti-Torah?
3 - If I can get "immeasurable reward" for playing the lottery, what kind of reward do I get when I make a straight gift of charity? More or less than "immeasurable?"
4 - Are you allowed to make unsubstantiated claims in an advertisement? I mean, how do the organizers know that any reward at all awaits us if we play their game? Shouldn't the promise of "immeasurable reward" carry an asterisk?

I'm left wondering why Torah U'Mesorah took this approach. Am I really the only potential customer embaressed and discouraged by the sexism and magical thinking the organization reaveals here?

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