I’ll give you 2 things. One is very very sad and difficult. One is very helpful.
Wait–I take that back. Both are very useful, but the second one is less depressing.
Here’s the first one on Jewish anorexia from the NY Times yesterday about Jewish women and anorexia. What is wrong with us? We have to be perfectionists in everything we do, including hurting ourselves? Here’s a really good example of what can go wrong when we promote form over function. And what ever happened to the old line
“כָּל-כְּבוּדָּה בַת-מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה”, “All the glory of the king’s daughter is internal.”
EWW. I just checked with Mechon-Mamre for their translation and got this:
All glorious is the king’s daughter within the palace; her raiment is of chequer work inwrought with gold.
This might be a source of our problem. Stay inside, but look good at all costs.
Here’s part of the article that points out this problem.
Most of the young women interviewed for this article said they did not blame the culture for their health problems and said they derived support from their religious faith. But they spoke openly about the enormous pressure they feel to marry young and immediately start families , and the challenges of balancing professional careers with the imperative to be consummate homemakers who prepare elaborate Sabbath meals.
Experts say that eating disorders usually emerge during adolescence and other times of transition. And in large Orthodox families, the girls are often expected to help care for their younger siblings, leaving them little time to pursue their own interests. Experts suspect that anorexia may provide a way to stall adult responsibilities by literally stopping the biological clock: the drastic weight loss can halt menstruation.
Young Orthodox women are also expected to conform to a rigorous code of conduct, with few outlets for rebellion. They are expected to be chaste until marriage and do not date until they start looking for a husband. Even gossip is considered a sin.
Once matchmaking starts, they may be expected to choose a life partner after only a brief courtship. Known mental illness in a family can affect the chances of a successful match, not just for the individual but for siblings as well, so young women may well avoid psychiatric treatment.
Do we get this yet?
And just as an aside, there’s the hysteria going on now in France about the burka. Revolting in all senses. Here’s what Phyllis Chesler has to say about it, in case you’re interested. Okay, I can’t resist posting this part:
According to France’s Bernard-Henri Levy:
“The burqa is not a dress, it’s a message, one that clearly communicates the subjugation, the subservience, the crushing and the defeat of women….People say, ‘Perhaps it’s subjugation, but it’s done with consent. Get it out of your mind that malicious husbands, abusive fathers, and local tyrants are forcing the burqa on women who don’t want to wear it.’….Fine. Except that voluntary servitude has never held water as an argument. The happy slave has never justified the fundamental, essential, ontological infamy of slavery….People evoke freedom of religion and conscience, freedom for each of us to choose and practice the religion of his or her choice; in the name of what can anyone forbid the faithful to honor God according to the rules indicated in their sacred texts? Another sophism, for — and it can never be repeated enough — the wearing of the burqa corresponds to no Koranic prescription. There is no verse, no text of the Sunna that obliges women to live in this prison of wire and cloth that is the full-body veil….This is not about the burqa, it’s about Voltaire. What is at stake is the Enlightenment of yesterday and today, and the heritage of both, no less sacred than that of the three monotheisms. A step backwards, just one, on this front would give the nod to all obscurantism, all fanaticism, all the true thoughts of hatred and violence.”
Okay, so now for the other one (the real other one). I sort of wish that I had read this a month ago, but it wasn’t written yet, anyway:). This is a list of helpful hints for saving money over Pesach. Here’s the part that I really wish everybody would read, at least those of us with septic systems.
3) Have your plumbing lines snaked prior to Pesach and make sure that all toilet tissue is good for plumbing. Do not allow anyone to flush tissues or wipes and find a nice way of telling people to flush once for #1 and twice for #2 to avoid clogging toilets. Emergency plumbing work costs more. Be sure to have plungers handy and apparently dawn dishwashing liquid can help some drain clogs.
I guess the word of the day is “waste.”