PW readers sound off.
Judaism, like all religions, is an institution. It includes specific beliefs and practices, with a moral code and philosophy through which an individual participates in a collective. Anorexia operates the same way, except you are not a chosen one by God, per se, but by the American Psychiatric Association. In the article, Murtha made it clear how the shortcomings of Judaism psychological gratification provides its wanting subject with a different meaningfulness: being thin.
The real tragedy lies in the limited ways in which these women can express themselves, for the perceived violence of Judaism’s rituals gave way to the perceived violence of an anorectic’s rituals.
Kudos for The Renfrew Center for cashing in. I hope the PW gets a cut of that, too.
My only wish, myself a Jewish Anorectic (if you must), is that women such as Hilary become aware that self-reliance and critical thought may also liberate them from the binds of these industries. And there is no co-pay for that.
LINDSAY ROTH, Old City
When introducing a profile of a young woman with an eating disorder, Murtha used the most hilariously poor choice of words ever, “She has the weight of the world on her shoulders.” I haven’t laughed that hard in days. However, I think Murtha missed a golden opportunity to further rub it in by saying, “She’s bursting at the seams with sadness;” “She’s tipping the scales away from healthy;” or “She’s a cool woman, she’s really, really phat. Just phat as hell.”
Try harder next time.
CRAIG WOLFGANG, Philadelphia
I’d like to thank Ms. Murtha for taking the time to explore this issue. I have struggled with bulimia and anorexia for over two decades and while I’m in recovery, I can easily relate to Hilary’s words when she speaks of the daily mental anguish over something as simple as lunch, despite having an outwardly healthy appearance.
Not to discredit any particular culture dealing with this horrific disease, but I really don’t think any one group can claim more victims over another as it is such a shame based issue that most of the sick never speak up about their problem. What frustrates me most is the blatant lack of conversation when it comes to eating disorders; it claims lives constantly and somehow retains a cloak of invisibility while every other illness under the sun is fought with fundraisers, 3-day walks, 5ks, and ribbons. My hats off to you, PW , for addressing a serious problem that silently consumes so many individuals.
ANONYMOUS via email
Regarding Jacob Lambert’s recent column about rooting for a winning team:
I agree 100 percent with Lambert’s article about the Phillies success. I grew up rooting for and attending last minute 500 level Phils games when they fielded Desi Relaford and Mark Leiter. And nothing was better than rooting and hoping that those teams could have a winning season or at least, win when I was there. I witnessed the Vet implosion live and almost cried. Not just for the stadium, but because I knew those Phillies teams of my youth were dying.
ROBERT PUZYCKI via email
Wrong title. Should have been “Fear and Self-loathing in Philadelphia.”
What’s with “Rooting for a legitimately great ball team isn’t nearly as interesting”? Not the same? Okay, I buy that. But not as interesting?
Tell that to the tax-paying citizens whose city’s coffers profit by a successful club, much less World Series champs. Remind the back-slapping crowd of mixed race Philadelphians how it’s just not as good when your team’s supposed to do well and actually does. Try and get the really young kids to follow another team, one with a lousy prospect on the season, so they can have a really good fan experience.
Better yet, tell that to the Phillies team members who still have to produce a winning season.