*Flying Rabbis Drive off Swine Flu

Apparently a plane load of (naturally) male orthodox (of the extreme) variety, with good heart, went up in a plane to fly over Israel and through prayers and chanting and blowing of shofars (rams’ horns) drive away swine flu for the good of the world. (Video here so you can see for yourself).

However I am here to tell you they are pikers. Men! Feh! What do they know? Any zogern (female prayer leader of the Jewish shtetl) wouldn’t bother with planes and such nonsense.

The proper way to end a plague is to marry off a couple, who otherwise couldn’t afford it, at midnight in the cemetery under the moon. That is the way to do it. Israelis! Moderns! Men! Ridiculous!

Why did the Holy One above send us a plague? they asked. What did we do? If we set it right, then maybe the Holy One will forgive us and our children will get better. Didn’t you hear? It’s a punishment for the way the Hasidim treated the Rabbi in Plotsk. He doesn’t like Hasidim, so they drove him out of town and then the cholera came. Now they’re begging him to come back. But what about us? We only have one Hasid, Asher the watercarrier, and they buried him this morning. I’ll tell you whose fault it is. Yekhiel the baker. Everyone knows he’s an unbeliever. It’s his sin. No, no, it’s Blema the midwife. Don’t you remember her grandmother was burned for a witch? “Friends, friends, listen to me,” the Old Rabbi said, rapping the floor with his oak staff. Someone had thrown a rock through the baker’s window. It had to be stopped. “The sin is all of ours and we can rectify it, together. It is written that arranging the marriage of orphans and conducting the ceremony in the cemetery at midnight will stop a plague, even the cholera. This should tell you what a great mitzvah it is. Right here among us we have a boy of marriageable age without father or mother to arrange his destiny. No family, no money — who would marry him? But we’ll find a bride for Hayim, everyone will witness his happiness, and the Holy One in His infinite mercy will withdraw the punishment that we brought upon ourselves, even if we don’t know how. As for the Hasidim, it’s too bad they’re misguided, but each of them is a mother’s child, just like each of you. They even have a few scholars among them. As it is written, There is no limit to the practice of benevolence and the study of Torah.”
In the women’s gallery there was much excitement when a match was found for Hayim. God has compassion, we are saved, they said. She’s a pearl. How lucky our Hayim is. She’s not so good-looking, but you can only see the scar on one side. And if she’s not so young, well he needs to learn a thing or two. And if they found her in the brothel near the docks in Plotsk, what then? Did anybody see her do anything wrong? It’s God’s will that the match will rescue her from a life of sin. And who is Hayim, anyway, a Talmud genius? He should just be thankful that he has a warm place to put his body on a Friday night.

That’s how to do it (From The River Midnight).

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12 thoughts on “*Flying Rabbis Drive off Swine Flu

  1. Oh yes, this should clearly be done. In The Enchanters by Romain Gary, a family of Russian-Italian enchanters enact a performance with a figure representing the plague, wrapped in pestilent bandages, who is tormented by the music of Jewish violin players until he falls to the ground and spontaneously combusts. That seemed to work, too.

  2. Lilian, that’s great! I have a big smile on my face, I loved reading this. Okay, the credit card has a tiny bit of juice left in it, so I am off to find your books online before anything else interrupts or intrudes. Sold!

  3. It’s still 5 weeks away, but thank you. Let the festival begin! I am so excited, I can’t wait to read your work. Sorry about the phlegm at midnight – it doesn’t have quite the same ring…!

  4. Excellent marketing, Lilian. I was intending to buy this anyway but being such a procrastinator I didn’t get round to it until two minutes ago. Now I’m eagerly awaiting my new read (along with Hilary Mantel and Anne Lamott you may be interested to hear). Thanks in advance.

  5. Then there was the Oriental practice of a naked young woman ploughing the fields at midnight in time of drought. Sympathetic Magic ‘takes many forms’ ? Not so much.
    A Spanish professor and all-round wild man had me look at Prof. Chussdovsky’s update on the proposed mass inoculation for a disease that does not exist.
    I just posted the update at http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com : showing off a Canadian site with a worldwide following.
    Not being a scientist myself, I can only muse on the oddity of using a known risky procedure to mitigate net risk. It sounds no more intelligent than developing foods which are biologically inert as preferable to those with active enzymes, etc. and various native minerals : as opposed to mass produced ‘foods’ with no reverence for freedom from contaminants.
    CowBoss – another online acquaintance – is much more vociferous than that!

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