Something I have noticed among Jews of all denominations is that they all have this inherent fear of something called “Fate”.
“Don’t tempt fate” “Don’t give an Eyin Hara” or my favorite from The West Wing “What, do you want to tempt the wrath of the… whatever, from high atop the thing?!”
I must admit I am not laughing at others, I am one of the quivering masses who honestly is terrified of Fate. I really think Fate has it out for me. That Fate spends its time thinking of ways to destroy me. However, Fate is stupid. Because Fate can’t think of a way to upset me, or hurt me unless I give it the idea. I don’t say the names of illnesses louder then a whisper, I don’t say “when you die” I use terms like “So if Gd forbid something happens…..” See Fate hears Something and goes “Uch! I have no idea what that Something should be!!”
I think I have noticed this more lately then I normally do because I am in a stage of my life that leaves most Jews I know, young and old, observant and not, in an absolute state of terror. I am 8 months pregnant and Fate REALLY hates pregnant woman. Lucky for us Fate is an idiot. Because if I don’t talk about the baby, know the gender of the baby, or buy anything for the baby….really pretend that I just got fat and have a new close relationship with my doctor, then Fate will think I am fine. Then when the baby comes fate will hit itself in the head and go “Why did I not see that one coming! She didn’t even get a stroller! I mean, I normally catch on when they get strollers! Curses foiled again!!” Or when people ask “ohhhh what are you going to name it?” I cringe. Of course I know what I am going to name Fufu (as we like to call the fetus around here) But I literally stop breathing when I have to say the names out loud. That also might be because I have a diminished lung capacity, but I think its fear. I mean Fate might hear….and wonder why I am talking about names.
This is why I think that Fate hates us, because of the way we act in regard to fate. All Jews. Maybe even non Jews, but we think he is out to get us more then anyone else. Because we would not be so terrified if some great great great great great grandparent did not have proof that Fate was really a mean nasty spirit that was out to get all of us, for all of time. It is so ingrained in me that when ever some strangers says something like “Gd bless your baby” (what if I was just fat?) or “Your skin looks great!” (ok it does, the one up side to pregnancy) I get flipped out and start doing a kick count. What FOOL points out that I am pregnant? In PUBLIC! I lose it, I flip out, I am ready to call my Doctor until I feel those reassuring little nudges that tell me that horrible person who just complimented me did not really put a spell on my Fufu. I hide sonogram pictures, I didn’t tell my closest friends till they noticed something. If you don’t talk about it Fate wont notice.
Because Fate really must hate us.