Thursday, March 25, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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mini tehillimJerusalem, March 25 - A customer at a cut-price chain retailer voiced her consternation today upon discovering not only that the miniature books of Psalms she had purchased as spiritual devices to ward off misfortune contained not the Hebrew poetry of King David and others, but portions of the Christian bible, but also that the idolatrous items offer the same level of protection against evil as do those with Psalms.

Haviva Azoulay, 30, came upon a clip making the rounds on social media last week, which showed that a package of small books of Psalms, each one about an inch in height, sold as amulets for good fortune or protection against mishaps and maladies, in fact contained small New Testament books - but even more disturbing, she discovered that, having bought the items and placed them in what she had deemed auspicious locations around her, in retrospect she had enjoyed the same level of protection as during a previous time in her life when she had used authentic Psalms amulets.

"I... I don't know what to think," confessed Ms. Azoulay, who sells artisanal candles and soaps, and who insists herbs and proper spiritual thoughts can boost the body's immune system to prevent COVID and other illness. "My first thought is I did something wrong in placing the charms, so that they are actually having no effect. No other explanation has occurred to me yet."

Azoulay has confided the situation to others in her meditation group, one of whom volunteered to remove the offending amulets and "detoxify" the apartment with "cleansing herbs" to "negate the long-term effects" the heretical texts might have on the atmosphere there. Medieval Jewish sources disagree on whether Christianity constitutes a form of idolatry considered a capital sin even for non-Jews, or whether the system has room for a "shared" godhead that at least some forms of the faith accept. For Jews, however, the sources remain unanimous that the fundamental tenets of Christianity render it a grave violation.

The Torah similarly forbids the use of magic, necromancy, divining, and other superstitious practices.

"I know I've been spared coronavirus because of my spiritual routine," insisted Azoulay. "Of course I'm not getting vaccinated when I have divine protection! Or so I thought, anyway. Could be I just got lucky. Or it could be my vegan diet. One neighbor mocked my situation and even implied the authentic items don't offer protection either! I can't deal with that kind of person."

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