Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chicken fat

The other night we attended a yeshiva fundraiser. The kind where you buy a half-page ad in the Dinner Journal, in return for which you get the kavod and esteem and plaudits, plus lots of food, food and more FOOD. Despite what follows, it really was a very lovely event, what with all of the newly-minted Rabbis sitting on the dais and beaming. We really enjoyed it. Really!

BUT, it was too damn crowded! Now this isn't a totally bad thing, because if you do the arithmetic, it means that lots of people bought half-page ads (and larger), which means that the yeshiva got some good funding so that it can continue its good work. But I don't at all do well in crowds (unless I am picking pockets).

For one thing, the sumptuous hors d'ouvres tables were not optimally placed to facilitate the orderly flow of traffic. Perhaps if the crowd size were 60% or 75% of what it was, then it wouldn't have made much of a difference, but the extra personnel overload exacerbated the choke points. They would have done much better if they had placed some more small tables for people to sit down, so that they would be out of the way of the traffic.

Then, in the dining room, there were too damn many tables, and too damn many people at each table. And because one of the video projection screens (basically a great idea, to be sure, because everyone, regardless of seating position, could see what was happening on the dais) monopolized a section by the wall, the table that was placed there didn't have much clearance. I could not eat undisturbed for more than a minute or so at most because people were always attempting to pass through that maybe eight inch gap between the back of my chair and the back of the chair at the adjacent table. It was difficult for an anorectic person to pass between the tables!

Which brings me to the most troubling observation of the evening: There weren't too many anorectics there; to the contrary, the crowd clearly demonstrated America's growing obesity problem! So many corpulent yeshiva bochers (and big fat spouses thereof), some of whom had circumferences which nearly equaled their heights. And if the food spread wasn't the cause of it, the Viennese table spread for dessert really took the cake (pun intended)! In many respects, Jewish culture is obesity-faciltative!

This has troubling implications. I'm sure that some of those fatsos there have trouble qualifying for health insurance and life insurance. So when these big fat yeshiva bocherim marry and start having lots and lots of children (which I endorse and applaud, what with Hitler and the Muslims and the Catholic Church Crusades and everyone else who have been and are still trying to exterminate us), they have large families who are at risk if the big fat father or big fat mother or even a big fat little child gets sick and/or dies without adequate insurance coverage. So hardly a week goes by that I don't get some shnor in the mail to help the family of a sick or dead rabbi or yeshiva bocher or kollelnik, and I can't help but wonder what insurance coverage the poor zhlub had.

One dirty little secret in the religious Jewish community is that we frequently do not insure our lives adequately. There is an aversion in the black hat crowd towards life insurance, and that aversion goes far beyond issues of income (or lack thereof). A family with one child, let alone eight or nine, should take the trouble to insure the lives of Mom and Dad. But so many just do not do it!

The Jewish community is coming upon a health epidemic. All of these fatsos creeping up in age are becoming increasingly susceptible to the various maladies associated with obesity. This can only have adverse financial effects upon the families who depend upon them. Whatever issues exist with the individual family budget and insurance (and they often are significant issues) are only exacerbated by the ever-fattening obesity crisis in our community.

My own daily routine includes both learning the daf and physical exercise. One need not join a gym; it can be done in one's own home. So start exercising, and get rid of that chicken fat !


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