Note: That’s Not Schmutz
It’s just Ash Wednesday
You’re going to be walking around today, at work or on the street or whatever, and you’re going to see people with some schmutz on their foreheads. It will be jarring, and your first instinct, of course, will be to tell them that they have some schmutz on their foreheads; secondarily, you may regret this person is not a close family member, making it inappropriate to grab him, lick the side of your thumb, and rub that schmutz off his forehead. Even after you pass him, you’ll probably continue to think about this schmutz—so dirty! so schmutzy!—for the rest of the day, or at least for a couple more minutes. That is, until you see the next person with some schmutz on her forehead.
So here’s the thing to remember: They want the schmutz there. These people are Christians, probably mostly Catholics, observing Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent (which is sort of like their counting of the Omer) and kicks off the countdown to Easter. Of course, schmutz is still schmutz, whether the person with it wants it there or not. But this is America, and differences are to be respected. Just be glad it’s not you with some schmutz on your forehead.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.