In Part One of The Jewish Disorder Manual, I took on that silly book, the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), or as I call it, the “SMD” – “Stupid, Mindless Diagnoses.” This bubbameister consists of hundreds of pages of diagnosis, symptoms, each on an “axis,” that are numbered, sub-numbered, typed, sub typed, clustered. They can be cyclical, bi-cyclical, perennial, seasonal, monthly, or maybe not -- and can occur alone as long as it doesn’t occur with any of the other thousand “Stupid, Mindless Diagnoses” in the book. Yet, pros are forced to use this “professional Bible” to prove that our client is not completely meshugge, but meshugge enough for treatment.
#9. 109.1 Mechutenem Satisfaction or MS
According to “the Book,” the only things I don’t suffer from are “Fear of Food” and “Hyper-Exercising.” But we Jews can’t be lumped, clustered, or “standardized” – especially when we talk “emotions.” So in defense of our people, I’m adding to my DSM for We Jews which has nothing whatever to do with that book and truly describes how our mishegoss is different from the book’s mishegoss.
*Note: Before I get “you-heartless-chaya-who-has-
THE JEWISH DSM (DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS) II
6: 106.1 Bargaining Anxiety Dysfunction or BAD
Essential Features: The obsessive need to buy retail for anything other than underwear or food. Most striking is the propensity to purchase jewelry from a regular store, or avoiding negotiating at garage sales.
Healthy Jewish Behavior: What “they” call a problem we call common sense! After all, we have a 3,500 year history of having to bargain to survive in shtetls and ghettos where we needed a Yiddishe kop to make sure we could put lokshen on the table. Tiffany wants $5000 for a ring when Uncle Moishe can get you almost nearly the exact same ring for $750 – and put it in a Tiffany box?! Seeing a $20 tag on a lamp with a scratch at a garage sale and saying, “That’s fair?” Is this wise, mamalas?! Look at the greatest Jewish negotiattor of them all: Canadian-born Jeffrey Skoll who invented eBay! “Meshugge?” I think not!
7. 107.1 Hypochondrical Insufficiency or HI
Essential Features: The persistent pattern of answering the question: “Hi. How are you?” with “Fine!” -- regardless of what we all know is the truth: “We could be better.” This is also characterized by saying “It’s nothing!” when we or a loved one coughs, sneezes, or has a cramp. (This condition is a specific perennial subtype of 103:1 Anxiety Insufficiency or AI AI AI.)
Healthy Jewish Behavior: We Jews a) assume the asker means the question, and b) believe in truth. Therefore, when one is interested enough to inquire about us, it’s our duty to inform them. After all, we know something about us may not be A-Okay or certainly won’t be some time. A headache could be a tumor. A sneeze? Shh Pui. Nasal blockage. A weakness? That 1957 polio shot could’ve worn off. Does it make sense to wait until it’s too late to seek help from our neighbor, our plumber, or maybe even a doctor if “it” doesn’t go away in an hour? The result? No Jew has ever died from saying, “It’s nothing!”
8. 108.1 Kreplachphobia or KP
Essential Features: A cluster disorder, which among others, includes Shmaltz Avoidance Disorder (or SAD). Jewish people who react negatively when in the presence of “Yiddishe” dishes such as kreplach, shmaltz, gribbenes, holishkes, kishke, preferring instead food that is either low carb or significantly white and thin, e.g.: milk, white bread, mayo.
108.2 A preference for meals that are both low carb and white and thin is a far more serious condition.
Healthy Jewish Behavior: Have you ever seen a photo of our ancestors shlepping through Ellis Island with a trunkful of flanken, or entering the home of the free with a herd of cows, deer, or goats in steerage? No. They made due, and deliciously so with fat, potatoes, and shmaltz! Meanwhile, “nouvelle” Jews on a diet of white and Gingko Biloba are dropping dead at 40, while Zaydes in Brooklyn are dancing in nursing homes at ninety.
9. 109.1 Mechutenem Satisfaction or MS
Essential Features: Adoring the family your child marries into without equivocation. “His” mother cooks gefilte sweet? “His” papa is delightful! The in-laws want your daughter to dig for water in a fourth world country? They insist the young couple “do” Sunday brunch by them – and bring the lox? You’re okeydokey with that.
Healthy Jewish Behavior: Twenty-five years you spent teaching your values, never mind paying for braces so your mechutenem should enjoy!? Please. Their side is … not “you.” So, will you overlook, keep silent, and make peace at all costs, even if the price is your kinder’s soul? In Samuel 4:21 and 1:27, Genesis 21:16, and 37:2 it’s clear. We train our children in the way they should go. (Our way!) So any total acceptance of “their path” is not only cowardly, it’s a sin. The result? You’ll die happy.
10: 110: Unmixed Dysfunction Disorder with Inexplicable Reactions or UDDER
Essential Features: Jews who can be pinned down with one clear diagnosis based on one mindset and behavior, without debate, or signs of mixed messages, signals, feelings, joys, and oys.
Healthy Jewish Behavior: We Jews are nothing if not complex. Have we all not heard Jews say, for example: “OK … a little hefty she is, but a face like an angel,” “So he falls over his shoe laces, but he’s got a good heart-- and a medical degree,” “True, I over worry, but when you were nine, wasn’t I right about your chicken pox?” The result? We’ve survived for thousands of years by looking in, over, under every side and examine each possibility, whether we’re talking Talmud, or deciding if we should teach our daughters-in-law how to make an edible brisket. Masters of Mixing, we rest easy knowing we’ve done our homework, and can feel many ways -- in peace, perfect harmony, and sanity by simply mixing the words: "Oy, the agony! Ai, the ecstasy!”
Should you suffer from any of the above, take a little seltzer mixed with a table spoon of schmaltz and call me in the morning!