Tuesday, July 27, 2004

This just in:

Hasidim refuse inoculations during the 9 days. I know this through my neighbor, the big pediatrician, who broke the fast with us tonight. "They think it's risky to try anything out of the ordinary during the 9 days," he said through a mouthful of lecho. "I tell them that Whooping Cough is out of the ordinary, too. Makes no difference."

I asked about that Torah verse, you know ushemartem es nafshosaychem?

The big pediatrician shrugged. "Most of this crowd doesn't even know what an inoculation does. They think its magic if they beleive it works at all."

I was appaled. I was offended. How could the big pediatrician be so condescending? Jews are many things, but ignorant?

"Most don't have even a basic secular education you know." the big pediatrician finished.

I did know. I swallowed my lecho. My indignation gone.

The big pediatrician continued. "So many of these people [these people?] are on natural kicks. They refuse all medication. They want natural, natural only. I tell them marijuana is natural, too. Know what they say? What's marijuana??

And so, dear readers, as I cleared away the empty plates, I found myself struggling with a new variation of the same old question... In the long run, who is better off? The man who knows what an inoculation does? Or the man who has never heard of marijuana?

I could argue this either way, and perhaps, in the fullness of time, I will.

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