That was the original title of Ben Brofman’s piece in the latest issue of PresenTense titled “More Orgies, More Babies: A Modest Proposal.” Perhaps they should have stuck with Ben’s initial title suggestion – when you try to riff off of Jonathan Swift, you have some mighty big shoes to fill. Ben, begins his piece, as did Mr. Swift some 278 years ago, with a concise description of the problem. While Swift’s pamphlet, commonly referred to by it’s abbreviated title “A Modest Proposal,” discusses the urban poverty in Ireland occasioned by the Industrial revolution, Brofman talks about how the secular Jewish population is shrinking. Swift suggested that the Irish sell their babies as a culinary treat to wealthy Englishmen, while Brofman suggests mass institutionalized Jewish orgies utilizing defective birth control.
Of course massive orgies as suggested by Brofman would solve nothing – most of the women in the demographic at issue are on the pill and if they should suffer the misfortune of getting pregnant before they complete their college and professional degrees and get a fast track job to a life of material comfort, well, there is no doubt that they’d end that pregnancy in less time that it takes to say “I’ll take that Prada purse please! Thank you!” This is especially true if they aren’t sure who the father is. Single Motherhood and Jewish women? That’s even more outlandish an idea than mass orgies for Young Jews.
While Brofman’s piece lacks the sustained irony that Jonathan Swift is associated with, his was a nonetheless thought provoking article. What is most ironic about it is that essentially aren’t all programs created by the Organized Jewish Community for young adults designed to get the yiddles to bump booties and make babies of the mosaic persuasion? I mean yeah, they add a thin veneer of meaning and content to the programs, but aren’t these all kinda, sorta ritualized mating rituals? And like the Organized Jewish Community, Brofman’s obviously tongue in (ass?) cheek orgy proposal would fail to solve the problem because neither efforts answer the all important question that many young, secular Jews wrestle with – Why be Jewish to begin with?