We all know that We Jews like to worry. Sure, others worry, but we invented worrry. The difference is this: “Oh look, Peter … a few drops. Let’s grab and umbrella and go singing in the rain.” and “Oy vey, a monsoon! Quick call flood control!”

From our mishegoss came morality.

In fairness, I don’t think God programmed us for worrry. However, to paraphrase the old Jewish joke … we may be special, but oy, over 3000 years, did we get neighbors? The good news is: from dealing with mishegoss came morality; from kappores, courage; and from tsouris, saychel.

So worrry is the price that comes with our territory, not to mention the $200 an hour to Jewish shrinks, as worrry can lead to maybe a few teeny obsessions. Interestingly, it’s the little things … the little guilts, worrries, and obsessions that fill our shrinks’ sofas. The way I figure, it’s not only cheaper for me to write mine, but after reading my mishegoss, you’ll feel so healthy by comparison, I’m also doing you, my beloved readers, a mitzvah!


1- The Outs & Ins Most normal humans check that the windows are shut, they have their cash, cards, keys, then they actually go, confident that a) their premises are reasonably safe from marauding bandits; and b) they’ve brought what they need, for example, 10 years of X-Rays for the doctor. Not me. I have yet to actually exit –once. I lock the door, then it hits. “Did I turn the bath tap off or will I have to call Arks R Us?” So from out I go back in. Out again, it occurs to me, “suppose my Dollar Store glasses break in my farshtopte purse?!” I go back in to stuff in another pair. I’m back out when I realize: “I bet my son waited for me to leave to turn up the thermostat and put on the lights!” Back in. The X-Rays are missing! I retrace my several thousand steps in and out. Ah, they’re on the hall floor. I back out, bend down, and my purse, in agony, explodes. All of which explains why I go out only to see the doctor – and maybe get a chicken salad sandwich.

2- The shopping cart Cha Cha Cha. I admit it … I worrry about death by shopping cart. I’ll be honest, my friends. After shlepping all those small cheesy plastic bags to the trunk (along with picking up what fell from the bags) … I’ve had it. So the cart cha cha cha “Beguines” as I guiltily leave the cart then get in the car. Ok, so it’s blocking a parking space. Well, they’ll move it – right? Guilt rising, I get out and push it toward the cart place. Oy, it’s rolling. What if, God forbid, it crashes into a 107-year-old in a Hoveround; HEADLINES: “Jewish maidel kills Cyrus Gunther, last survivor of WW 1 by shopping cart. It was a freak accident!” So I chase the cart. Chaloshing, I finally shlep it to the “cart place.” After 20 minutes of this cha cha cha, I am now restored to a guiltless human being. (If you ask why I didn’t do this mitzvah in the first place, may your FB page be filled with “Unfriendings.”)

3- WANTED! The other day a scooper at a chain of delis-cafes charged me a dollar less for a pound of chicken salad. Then, the cashier gave me the wrong change, so I was up three dollars, which trust me, in Vegas is like hitting three Pat Sajak faces. Ah, but now I can get the Black and White cookie whose price should be under Penal Code PE:101 for Pastry Extortion. Is it “stealing?” Hmmm. So. I tell myself a three dollar cookie?! I’m the victim, right? But … what if the mistake comes out of her paycheck? Or, suppose their accountant picks up the error and it becomes a small police matter? I went to the manager to confess. He filed a complaint against the chicken scooper and the checker.

4- Ringa Ding Ding-a-Ling Did you ever maybe ding something in a parking lot? You pull out and you feel a little … bump (OK, a thwack.) You get out to assess. Your left brake light is hanging on the two foot wide concrete pole divider. Whew! You go.

I stay, sweating. “Did I also maybe hit the car behind the pole?!” So, I lie on the floor and form a human protractor to test the possibility. “Nah,” I think. But then I realize I barely passed geometry. So, I check the car behind the pole. There’s a huge scrape. Could my car have somehow defied the laws of and gravity and jumped past the pole; an event no doubt caught on the barrage of Security Cameras, evidence for an arrest for Hit and Run? Oy, better leave my number on the windshield – even though that car was parked illegally.

5- Worrry: Five Ends and Extremely “Odds” If by now you’re still unconvinced of my worrry=obsession=guilt (WOG) mishegoss … here’s a sample laundry list.

  • Early-ness. I worrry I’ll get lost, get a flat tire, or ding someone, so I leave two hours early to get someplace 15 minutes away to avoid the guilt of making a macher who could make me famous, wait.
  • Sampling. “Try a sample” the nice lady offers in the market. I try, not one, but three … “to make sure.” Then that awkward moment of “To buy or not to buy.” I worrry I wasted her time. Among other things, I now own two cases of chipotle matzo.
  • Separating the Good & Plentys. The white candy is Plenty; the pink candy is Good. Having them all mixed up seems neither good nor plentiful to me. I refuse to say more on the grounds that my son may take up a collection to confine me to a Swiss clinic.

Have a teeny tiny worrry-obsession of your own? Share in the comments section below mamalas and do me and We Jews a mitzvah.