Thursday, June 17, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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child hiding eyesJerusalem, June 20 - The leader of a religious community in this holy city has identified a glaring breach of modesty and dignity in everyday child-rearing behavior, in the form of male babies coming into close physical contact with females who suckle them, and has issued a p'sak halokhoh forbidding women from breastfeeding boys. Instead, men must take on the task of generating breastmilk and providing it to the infants.

Rabbi Noteh LeHumra of Congregation Minhag Schtuss gave his ruling Sunday following complaints by several community activists that despite decades of increasing stringency in their practice of Jewish laws governing male-female dynamics, Jewish men still have a yeizter horarachmonoh litzlon, that causes them to stumble, not like our pious ancestors who never even had the slightest hirhur aveiroh, but we could never reach that exalted level and need extra protective measures lest we succumb to taivoh. The congregants identified nursing in particular as an unaddressed hazard, and Rabbi LeHumra developed guidelines accordingly.

"B'nois Yisroel," his ruling, appearing on large, adhesive posters on every available public surface, began. "Because of the unrelenting machinations of the yeitzer, it becomes incumbent upon us to adopt extra levels of taharoh and distance from sin. Therefore, be it known that women may only perform 'breastfeeding' or 'nursing' if the baby is a girl. But because we fear that exposure to, and contact with, women, especially certain uncovered parts thereof, lies at the root of our failure so far to vanquish the yeitzerb'avoinoiseinu horabbim, from now on only men may nurse boys. Perhaps this way, b'siyatoh dishmayoh, our holy sons will remain pure of mind, never having seen or felt anything inappropriate while eating as a baby."

"Our lore contains multiple instances of men becoming able to nurse," continued the notice. "Mordechai nursed the orphan Esther - but that was ok because she became his wife; or the man in the Gemoro Shabbos who experienced the same miracle so he could provide for his children. Through our dedication to our sacred duty, we, too, may be zoikheh to such phenomena."

"Lest the scoffers argue that we do not rely on miracles, look for yourself at the everyday miracles we have come to expect," it went on. "So few of us work, yet miraculously, money keeps flowing into our institutions and yeshivois; so few of us learn a trade or study anything secular, yet somehow, despite choosing a lifestyle of crushing poverty and food insecurity, Hakodoish Borukh Hu keeps finding ways to keep us from malnutrition. He has many emissaries, not just Bituach Leumialthough that has been a mainstay of His largesse in recent decades."

"A final point," the message concluded. "No one may permit himself to voice the thought that since previous generations saw no need to adopt these stringencies, they were careless or, chas v'sholoim, sinful. They were like the very angels compared to us! They had no need for these measures because they were so elevated, they barely had any yeitzer at all! And that's why we've been exiled and persecuted and haven't been redeemed for thousands of years, because [insert rationalization to help explain why such angelic people couldn't bring the Final Redemption, whereas we unworthy shadows of their greatness definitely will]."

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