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Why Are Jewish Parents Letting Their Children Watch The Eclipse?

“And I need you now tonight/And I need you more than ever”

The singer of the world’s most famous song about eclipses is referring to many things here: a person, love, her heart, and according to the song’s actual writer, vampires.

Love, supernatural monsters, and internal organs are needed, tonight and always. But what about external organs? What about, for example, eyeballs?

Why, if there is any risk of blindness, would a person look at a solar eclipse? Why would anyone risk the gift of sight to look at the ABSENCE of something?

Why are we all participating in a ridiculous charade that pretends that if millions of people look at a blinding force through eye-protection fashioned out of a shoebox, at least handfuls of people wont go blind?

And why, why, why, is the world’s most famous health-conscious, risk-averse, neurotic population not taking a stand against this?

Stereotypes of Jews as fretful hypochondriacs can be damaging, but also extremely accurate. The Jewish parents of my acquaintance value, in the following order: Health, Judaism, health/sleep, education, kindness, health, and not getting tattoos. Why is this small but influential group of tastemakers not shutting down this bizarre trend wherein the entire world is rushing to be physically impaired in exchange for one moment of looking at a sky dot?

In a world that becomes less and less recognizable by the day, why do we have such a strong collective desire to blind ourselves? Why do people with no science background keep acting like sticking their heads in cardboard boxes full of holes will protect them from lifelong disabilities? Why are Barbra Streisand and Larry David’s main demographics not up in arms over this?

Fearless Jewish mothers, fear-mongering Jewish fathers, neurotic Jewish grandparents, and irascible Jewish aunts and uncles, please save us from ourselves.

Don’t let these lyrics become literal:

“Once upon a time there was light in my life/But now there’s only love in the dark.”

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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