Thou Shalt Not Make Others Uncomfortable? A Ten Commandments’ Tale

approximately 50 years ago, my elementary school had a brilliant janitor. in mark twain-ish style, he conned a number young boys to spend their recess and lunch periods cleaning the campus. he armed these children with brushes and dust pans. they merrily kept this westside public school clean. fridays were the big payoff. the crew got together in the janitor’s tiny office and our fearless leader broke open a box of popsicles for all to enjoy. five hours of work for a popsicle! i was one of these children.

at the end of one school year, the janitor hosted a “pizza” party for his dedicated crew. a pizza was there for all to partake. i noticed there were some white colored circles on top of the pizza. i had no clue what they were. my family kept kosher both in and out of the house. these circles were quite foreign. hungry and determined not to be deprived my reward for a year’s work, i grabbed a slice and bit into the pizza. something was wrong. the circles, which mushroom-like in texture and taste, were something else. meat! i was horrified. it was pork sausage.

once i digested my understanding of what just occurred, i quickly looked towards heaven to see if any thunderbolts were going to take me out. oh, lord, i’m too young! that moment was the first time in my life that i ever ate treyfe aka non-kosher food.

i was no longer a virgin to the food ate by my many non-jewish or non-observant friends and classmates. the moment remains an “uncomfortable” memory. perhaps, i still suffer from a PTTD (post traumatic treyfe disorder)? or, in one of the many yom kippurs that have passed since then, the master of the universe has absolved me for this culinary offense.

this moment marked appreciation that i lived in two different worlds. the religious family world and the world where others are free to do the unimaginable, i.e. eating pepperoni pizza.

we all have personal worlds and the outer secular world which we venture. recent articles discussed controversy that “christmas tree” displays in libraries made people uncomfortable. public library staffs are struggling to address this issue. making selective patrons “uncomfortable” apparently is a big concern.

what is interesting is how the term “uncomfortable” is becoming weaponized. in civil tort [personal injury] law, “pain and suffering” is a sign of injury warranting compensation. non-legal definitions of uncomfortable are trending in an interesting direction. “causing discomfort or distress. painful or irritating.” dictionary.com

from a layperson perspective, i can sit on a couch which uncomfortable. if i sit too long, perhaps, it could become painful. discomfort is commonly a predecessor of pain.

are we headed to a point where pre-pain is equated to pain? or, is there something else going on here?

public libraries are intended to serve the whole public. they are to serve the “salad bowl” of patron. thus, it is mystifying that these libraries would act on complaints of discomfort with respect to a christmas tree. dailymail.com currently, libraries are hosting and displaying books that many individuals deem as downright offensive. do they act upon these complaints?

the “coinage” of “uncomfortable” is arguably now orwelleian for “intolerance.” those expressing their “uncomfortable-ness” are perhaps the true bigots. they don’t want to share the public space with others and their view points and interests. in the public arena, they demand to have their way only. there is no room in the public space for others. the fact that institutions are allowing for this censorship is truly “uncomfortable” for society. in reality, there is nothing “kosher” about it.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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