Job Descriptions

Dec 23rd, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week
Job Descriptions

Job Descriptions

The Sages teach us that the Egyptians gave everyone jobs at which they were not skilled in order to increase their frustration and prevent them from having any sense of accomplishment. How did the Sages know?

The Foundation Stone™ did some serious research on this issue and found an interesting article from the Egyptian News Pyramid. We post the following with their permission:

Pharaoh Speaks At Annual Conference of Jewish Midwives Association of Egypt

Our great, wonderful, wise and beloved king Pharaoh honored the Jewish Midwives Association of Egypt by agreeing to be the honoree and guest speaker at their annual conference. The Egyptian News Pyramid is honored to offer a transcript of his majesty’s speech:

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Thank you very much for this great honor, of which I am definitely deserving.

I come today to honor you who take care of the future of your people by caring for the newest members of your nation, and my newest subjects, the newborn.

I speak for all my people, the citizens of Egypt, in thanking you for the work you do for the babies you deliver.

Many describe your heroic efforts on behalf of the mothers delivering these babies. They speak of the terrible hours at which you must leave your homes to care for these women. They honor your efforts to ease their pain during delivery. People are impressed by all you do to protect the mothers during the difficult hours of delivery.

I, however, your great, beloved and humble king, focus instead on what you do for the future, for the children you bring into the world. I know how hard you work to soothe the babies and clean and dress them for their parents. I do not consider your work to be that of midwives, people who help women give birth, but rather on your contribution to Egypt’s future as Baby Soothers and Baby Decorators. I hereby officially decree that the name of your organization be changed to the Association of Jewish Baby Soothers & Dressers of Egypt. I bestow upon you new titles consistent with the new name of your organization: Shifra – Official Baby Dresser, and Puah – Official Baby Soothers.

There is no need to thank me, your infinitely kind king, for these great honors. Why should you be honored for helping these helpless women who always cry during this beautiful event? Why should people speak of all you do to protect the lives of mother and child? Do they not appreciate your task of being baby dressers and soothers?

Know that your great and glorious king understands what you do and honors you for these important tasks. I commit myself to be personally involved in your efforts and plan to meet privately with the new Shifras and Puahs as soon as possible.

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The response to the king’s wonderful and generous speech was overwhelming.

There were a few women, respected in the Jewish community, who were less than thrilled with Pharaoh’s speech. They claimed that our wise king was belittling their work rather than honoring their efforts. “I am not honored by being renamed a baby dresser,” said one, obviously ungrateful woman, who spoke from behind a veil and could not be identified. Another woman, young enough to be the daughter of the first, laughed, “Baby soother! Is he nuts? I save lives!” The Egyptian Internal Security will investigate these treasonous comments.

This newspaper will report to you on the private meeting between Pharaoh and the leaders of the new organization.

PS. The Palace Authorities confirm that Pharaoh met with the Shifras and Puahs in a private meeting but will not comment on any of the details of the meeting. Do you think these women have something to hide? Rumor has it that they are taking better care than ever of the children. Obviously, our wise and gracious king has inspired them!

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