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Jewish Feng Shui

July 21, 2013 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

Lotus Touts vs. Jewish Touts.

My dear readers have already gleaned that for a reasonably bright woman, I get confused a lot, especially by nouveau trending I don’t know from, care about … or makes my poor Yiddish keppie fling like the kid in The Exorcist.

“Irving, you never tried a bok choy blintz?!”

First, there’s faux painting. A little Jewish hall nook has to pretend to be a pompous bas relief of a Chagall Window? Feh! Put in a planter!

Then there’s chipotle. Not only don’t I know what it is, who can pronounce it except Gordon Ramsey? Yet, suddenly the world has gone to “chi-pot-le.” With all that We Jews have endured to survive starvation have you ever once heard: “Oyyyy, what I’d give for a little chipotle on this cabbage?” Fusion’s another. Like faux painting it’s faux food. “Irving, you never tried a bok choy blintz?!”

Today Feng Shui is raging hot … or cold. Or a balanced tepid. We’re feng shui-ing our personalities, our lives, our homes, our offices, our pets. God forbid our chakras are stuffed, we’re “wood” living like water, our yin is yanged, our chi poops out, or we fail to Facebook happy lotus touts around the world we’ll be so unbalanced we’ll need to harness ourselves to a pulley not to plop.

That’s not to say I don’t respect the intention of a 4,000 year old Chinese concept of wind and water, energy magnets and positive vibes created to promote spiritual harmony. But maybe, just maybe we Westerners have gone a little overboard?

Well, in service of you, my dear readers, I did a little research to get to the bottom of this Feng Shui business to find out of it is …well…. Jewishy?

Are MOTs meant to live:

  • without our piles of important papers, pictures, napkins, soy sauce packets and 200 photos of ultrasounds decorating our living rooms?
  • in perfect harmony with our children and machatanim, neighbors, doctors, and accountants – when we know better?
  • looking at our cellulite in LED lighted, airy bathrooms?! From this we get chi? (Energy?) No. From this we get anti-depressants.
  • worrying about aligning seven meshugge chakras, including a third eye? Not only do we have our own 4000 year-old “Chachmas” (Wisdom), show me one Jewish mother without five eyes – including those in the back of her head who “knows” what her loved ones are doing, 2,000 miles away … inside Area 54.

When he mentions rice, tell him you want it thrown. You’re not getting any younger.

More, Feng Shui involves something called “Lotus Touts.” What’s a “tout?” Who knows? But many feng shui-ers think they bring good luck. The following has allegedly been sent around the world 10 times from Anthony Robbins. You have only six minutes to bug others with it or all the luck will strain like shmaltz from your chicken soup. Since even I can’t write Jewish vs. Lotus touts in six minutes, I’m doubling my insurance. So I’ve chosen to give you a sampling of ……….


Lotus tout: Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
Jewish tout: Give people more than they expect cheerfully and they’ll move in.

Lotus tout: Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
Jewish tout: When he mentions rice, tell him you want it thrown. You’re not getting any younger.

Lotus tout: Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
Jewish tout: Except the money they didn’t invest in the luftmensch’s dream involving toilet seats that sing “you’ve gained a few” in Yiddish.

Lotus tout: In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
Jewish tout: Prophesizing, however is another matter, such as: “Even though we both know you’re wrong may you enjoy sharing your victory on Facebook – until they all Unfriend you.”

Lotus tout: When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
Jewish tout: And the family will take up a collection to send you to a private Swiss clinic specializing in Identity Disorder.

Lotus tout: When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
Jewish tout: When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ roll your eyes. You and I both know they not only owe you an apology, but a place in their will.

Lotus tout: Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
Jewish tout: And you’ll wind up talking for an hour to a Kurdish rep from Stop Scam, who, for $500 a month can get you off cold call lists – and, with 5,000 “sharing partners” will follow up with daily e-mails.

Lotus tout: Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
Jewish tout: Unless: your brother-in-law, the yutz real estate broker insisted you to invest your savings in rental homes – in 2005. A little family good news? He owned them.

Lotus tout: Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
Jewish tout: If you’re not hurt, ignored, unappreciated, chances are you’re not loving passionately enough.

Lotus tout: Spend some time alone.
Jewish tout: Follow this Gentile’s Lotus Touts and believe me, you’ll be spending a lot of time alone!

So mamalas, if you wish to de-clutter a little, I say “fine!” Go. Do. But trust me. Rent a huge storage unit for the next great trend: Vintage Vilna!


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