Sunday, November 20, 2016

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A Bubba Meisah

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

A Bubba Meisah


     A bubba meisah is Yiddish for a "Grandmother's tale," an old wife's tale. There are a number of customs, some widely practiced in the Jewish world that have no source, no gemara (Talmud) no halacha (Jewish law), but still they persist. For the most part they are harmless, unless they are being handed down as halacha, because they are not.

     One such fairly common custom is to gently tug on your left ear lobe after you sneeze. I can see where such an idea might have come from and it is interesting, but again, it is not a valid Torah custom.

     We learn that prior to Yaacov, our Father, people did not get sick before they died. They simply sneezed and their soul immediately left their bodies. Unlike this, the Torah relates that Yaacov became ill before his passing which gave him time to give instructions and blessings to his family.

      People are born head first and are put into the grave feet first. So imagine a sweet old lady hearing that people would sneeze and immediately leave the world. Then, if she would hear her husband sneeze, she would say, "Oy!" and quickly reach out and pull on his ear lobe to prevent him from going into the next world. Why the ear lobe? Because the rest of his body may have already started to leave and only his head was left so she tugged him back into this world. Good for her! Well, at least she thinks she did good. After all, her husband is still here even though he sneezed.


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