After weeks of intense debate concerning the rising tide of breast cancer awareness, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel issued a statement yesterday condemning the month and all dedicated funding for the cause.
“It is the opinion of the Rabbinate that the worldwide focus on breasts is a contaminating influence not only on Jews and those who seek a spiritual lifestyle, but also on children,” said Ziv Maor, Spokesman of the Chief Rabbinate. “The breast is an erva (English: nakedness). It belongs in the home, not on a cereal box.”
Breast Cancer Awareness month is organized annually during the month of October by a combination of cancer-focused charities and major corporations to raise funds for breast cancer research and to encourage mammography. The movement also offers support to victims of breast cancer and their kin.
“We fully appreciate the plight of any victims, and we offer our deepest sympathy to them,” claimed Maor. “The Rabbinate has encouraged kehilot (English: congregations) to add a mi shebeirach, a special prayer, for them during services. But with an increasing awareness of breast cancer comes an increasing awareness of breasts. And this we cannot abide.”
The decision has provoked outrage from Jewish communities around the world who look toward the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as a leading, if not supreme, authority, on matters of Jewish law and culture. “This decision is nothing if not closed-minded and insensitive,” proclaimed Rabbi Mark Ruskin, rabbi of Congregation Ohev Shadayim in Twin Peaks, MO. “We all have breasts, even the rabbis. Breasts and penises and vaginas and breasts, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.”
As part of the ruling, all charitable funding dedicated towards breast cancer awareness may no longer be counted as tzeddakah or meritorious giving according to Jewish legal and ethical standards.
All mastectomies performed in October are null and void. And in a display of rabbinic might and conservatism, all activities deemed to be in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month are subject to review and potential censure by the national religious court of law. These activities include: wearing pink, watching Thursday night football, being born in the month of July, eating dark meat, swimming on your chest whilst keeping your torso straight, discussing Iraq, installing noisemaking devices on your front door, milking a cow, experiencing an economic downturn, inflating decorative latex bags at parties, consuming any fruit in the cantaloupe family, chewing hard flavorless gum, eating coconut-flavored Hershey’s products, and keeping people in the loop.
“I am very, very upset by this news,” said Karin Gold, Israeli breast cancer survivor and proud mother of twins. “It’s time to give the Israeli Rabbinate a serious role reduction and to enlarge the authority of local clergymen.”