Columns - 2007

    Warning labels

    Due to a steady increase of incidents, and ever-growing support of the frivolous lawsuit industry (you decide which word "frivolous" modifies), various traditional Jewish documents have been embellished to account for the risks elaborated herein.


    This marriage contract could result in periodic nagging, worrying, compromising, and inability to watch the game when her relatives are in town. Possible side effects include children and Jewish mothers-in-law. If symptoms persist, consult a therapist.


    This divorce contract could result in your reinsertion into the Jewish singles scene. Common side effects of this phenomenon include disappointment, disillusionment, and dishonest profiles on JDate, JMatch, JMerica, JRetroMatch, JHarmony, and JJAbrams. Extreme cases can result in possible remarriage. For additional symptoms related to this final side effect, please see the warning for Ketubah.

    Synagogue Membership Welcome Letter

    This greeting is a cleverly disguised invitation that can result in increased supplementing of your dues payments with donations of both money and volunteer time. Extended exposure can result in receipt of a Board Membership Welcome Letter.

    Board Membership Welcome Letter

    This greeting is an advanced invitation to give more. Can result in increased donations, both monetary and of time. Often leads to exposure to other board members, and eventual infestation by committee. The most extreme cases can lead to incurable conditions involving words such as "foundation," "region," and "conventions."


    This scroll contains accounts of adult language (repeated use of the word "ass"), violence, wrath, burning anger, trouble, messengers of evil, and sexual acts (both good and bad), yet has never capitalized on these qualities in the way that has made many Hollywood films very popular.

    Lifting of this scroll, or most versions of this text in book form, can result in physical harm if not performed with great care. Do not read while tired as sleep may result, unless this is the intended goal.


    Use of this prayer book can result in linguistic confusion. Prolonged use can result in arm cramps and tightness around the elbow. In rare cases, regular use can result in salvation.


    The hanging of this sign upon thy house or upon thy gate could lead to future alignment issues with screen doors or other home improvements. The hanging process can induce sore thumbs, sore neighbors (if hammering is too early Sunday morning), and scores of extra holes in the doorframe wherein termites can enter.

    The kissing of the mezuzah is not known to, but theoretically could lead to, transmission of germs and other bacteria from other devout entrants, particularly those with poor handwashing habits.

    Contribution Form

    Completion of this form can result in actually owing the designated sum to the indicated organization. Side effects include possible organizational recruitment, or receipt of recurring newsletters and updates. While remitting can lead to remission, in many cases this form can result in "annual commitment."

    Bar Mitzvah Certificate

    Receipt of this certificate often precedes an overly expensive party drawing focus from the ritual significance of the day. Side effects include expectations of continued education, participation in teen groups, and too-often unfulfilled hopes that the skills which brought you to this day will ever get reused again.

    Confirmation Certificate

    Nobody knows what these are for, so there are no known side effects. If you discover its purpose, please contact your local Jewish community leader. Make sure to have him/her sit down before you elaborate, otherwise fainting head injury can result.

    Birth Certificate

    May lead to a life full of joy, sadness, happiness, sorrow, respect, regret, and excessive receipt of mushrooms with your entree. Following a wide variety of symptoms, always leads to death (applies to birth as well as mushrooms).

    Of course, a careful glance at your surroundings might reveal more everyday, secular objects with warning labels bearing a Jewish slant´┐Ż


    Use of this vehicle on the Sabbath or certain designated holidays can result in less good standing in The World To Come.


    Use of this dish in conjunction with another dish of the opposite type (dairy or meat) can result in less good standing in The World To Come.


    Possession of this device can result in calls during the game that compel you into pledges toward Super Sunday and other solicitations. In some cases, these pledges can help you reach an oasis where phones no longer plague us: The World To Come.

    Any Carryable Object

    Carrying of this object on the Sabbath or certain designated holidays, except in an Eruv-encompassed area, can result in less good standing in The World To Come.

    This Column

    Reading of this column, on the Sabbath or certain designated holidays, is harmless. Writing of this column is certain to result in less good standing in The World To Come.

    Doug Brook is a writer in Silicon Valley whose columns, upon reading, can cause spontaneous bodily responses including, but not limited to, laughter, groans, moans, strikes too close to home, convulsions, contortions, and the occasional paper cut. For more information, past columns, other writings, and more, visit his website at

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.