In a desperate attempt to stay relevant by keeping up with the savvy new management over at the Seattle Weekly, I announced last week a new regular HA feature: Ask a Secular Jew Who Married a Shiksa and Lives Near Two Orthodox Synagogues. Welcome to the first installment.
Dear Secular Jew,
I’m a goy married to a JAP, I need your help. She says that the midrash says that the toilet seat must be down. Is that true?
Harry… your wife is wrong. Stretching the limits of my Reformed Judaism education, I believe the midrash is actually an irritating fungal infection most frequently caught by inadvertently sitting on the rim of a dirty toilet. (As opposed to a footrash or a headrash.) So I guess in practice, your wife is right: keep the toilet seat down.
Dear Secular Jew,
How come Jewish Guilt Complexes are so, so much funnier than Catholic Guilt Complexes, which are really just kind of sad/scary?
CB… you’re asking the right guy — as a secular Jew who married an Irish Catholic shiksa, I’m a bona-fide expert on guilt.
Indeed the Jews and the Catholics are both very guilty people, the difference being that while Catholic guilt is based on sin, Jewish guilt is based on shame. Sin is derived from God, while shame is derived from… your mother.
For example, take sex. When we first started sleeping together my shiksa and I both felt incredibly guilty about sex. The difference was that she felt guilty because she thought it was wrong, whereas I felt guilty because I thought I was doing it wrong.
So in answer to your question, let me ask you… which one of us really has the sadder/scarier guilt complex?
Hey Secular Jew,
Who do I have to sleep with to get a good bagel in this town?
BL… it doesn’t really matter who you sleep with, as long as the bed is in New York City.
[If you have a question about Jews or Judaism, and you think a secular Jew who married a shiksa and lives near two orthodox synagogues might have the answer, just ask your question in the comment thread of this post. Remember, I will not answer simple, Jew-baiting death rights — it must be posed in the form of a question.]