By Candice Krieger
April 28, 2009
Israel's deputy health minister Yakov Litzman this week urged people to refer to ‘Swine flu' as "Mexican flu" for religious reasons.
Mr Litzman, of the ultra-religious United Torah Judaism party, said: "We will use the term Mexican flu in order not to have to pronounce the word swine,"
I'm not aware of any reason for a Jew to avoid uttering the word "pig." In fact, at least one Jew per shul says the foul word in shul, from the very center of the sanctuary, on the Sabbath when we read Shmini or Re'ah. It also appears in Rashi, and in countless Jewish law and parsha books. I don't understand why the Health Ministry is being so frum. Let them worry about the disease itself, rather than its name.
Meanwhile, Mexico has launched an official complaint to Israel over the suggestion to call it "Mexican flu", reports the Jerusalem Post. Mexico's Ambassador to Israel Frederico Salas complained to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem saying the name Mexican influenza was bothersome and worrying. Sums up the condition nicely then.