|Seder plate with origami shankbone|
The Parable of the Wise Maidens and
the Foolish Middle-Aged Woman
The holiday of Passover shall be like this: It shall be one week before Passover; there remain only six days before the feast. The wise maidens shall take their lamps and their flasks of oil, and seeking out the matzo meal and the eggs, shall begin to prepare the feast. The foolish woman of the Common Household shall confess she has not whipped one egg white, nor soaked one matzo, nor formed one single matzo ball.
The wise maidens have already filled their pantry with the unleavened bread that is Kosher for Passover, while the foolish woman shall go late to seek provisions, and find there remains not one box of Passover matzo. Lo, all twelve boxes that the grocery store had on display have all been bought by the more savvy maidens who were actually paying attention and looked at their calendars.
Though the Lord God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six days, the foolish woman will be hard pressed to see how she can create even one seder meal, with all the requisite parts, in six days. Her soul shall wax weak and her bones shall be vexed. She shall spill forth her remorse in a blog post, thus confirming her status as the Queen of Procrastination.
In days of old, the Common Household Mom would gird her loins and form her battle plans for the Passover meal in the month of Adar. Lo, even before the Purim costumes had been dreamed of, she had mapped out each meal of Passover. A full three weeks before the Exodus from Egypt, the Common Household freezer would burst in its abundance of Passover bagels, lemon squares, and chicken soup. Like the wise maidens, she was ready for the feast.
But behold, says the Lord, I am doing a new thing on heaven and on earth. Half the point of this holiday is that The People left the land of slavery in such haste that they had to bake their bread into forms very like square pieces of cardboard with evenly spaced perforations. As in days of really old, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, I the Lord will give strength to the weary. O foolish woman, despite your nasty cold, you shall rise up and begin to whip the eggs. You shall ask your son to bring matzo that is Kosher for Passover from another town with a larger Jewish population. You shall have the strength of an unicorn, or at least enough strength to make the apple-matzo kugel that is the joy of your husband.
You shall no longer eat the bread of idleness. Truly I tell you, you shall not eat bread at all, for eight days (or maybe seven, but who’s counting?). You will make ready your chariot and get to the store to buy your brisket and matzo ball mix. You shall find succor in the story of the Israelites, who trusted that whatever journey lay before them, God would be with them.
And so it is for both the wise maidens and the foolish middle-aged woman: keep awake, for, at least this time, you do know the day and the hour: Friday at sundown.
- The Book of Exertions, 12:1-28
|Sometimes with this child, one has to be precise.|