Wednesday, April 12, 2006

If Only They Had GPS

Tonight is officially the beginning of Passover, a holiday commemorating the triumphant exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and the beginning of our 40 year ramble through 2 miles of desert. For forty years my ancestors' ancestors were in that desert searching for a proper homeland... And after 40 years, they settled in Israel. Israel, the ONE country in the Middle East not floating on a huge oil reserve. Israel, a country of the size and charm of New Jersey. Israel, a place wedged between extremist states that seek its complete annihilation.

Now as someone who diligently looked for a one bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village for the better part of a year, I know how difficult it is to score good real estate. This place has a five flight walk-up. That one smells like cat pee. And I know my peeps have the reputation of being finicky... But 40 years in the desert to wind up in Israel? Seriously, my tribesmen, what up? I mean yeah, hindsight is 20-20, but one would think that if you'd searched for a new home for forty years, by the end you'd at least have found someplace with nicer neighbors. You chose the functional equivalent of living next to Webster Hall, that horrific club near NYU. I mean why didn't you just set up shop across from the Sunshine Men's Hotel on the Bowery while you were at it?

But okay, okay, neighborhoods change and one could argue that a lot was accomplished in those forty years of Survivor Samaria. We got the 10 Commandments and lay the groundwork for the career of Charlton Heston. We learned about the hazards of worshipping golden idols. (Hmm, maybe "learned the lesson" is being a little generous considering our love affair with bling still rages on.) We coined the phrase, "Are we there yet?" And, truth be told, it was then that we came up with a game plan to control the media and international banking systems.

So tonight and tomorrow the good Jews of the world will be sitting around the holiday table, reading the Hagaddah, drinking the required seven glasses of wine (but since most Jews I know are teetotalers, it's more like seven sips), and gnawing on that particle board we call "matzoh." It's very festive. But mostly it's a reminder that we freed ourselves from the Pharoah's oppression, and that was a good thing. Now if we could just free ourselves of the constipation that inevitably follows the week long matzoh-fest, I think as a people, we will have come a very long way.


Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

Hey! I love matzoh crakers with butter on them. I have a mixed family. I fondly remember my mother and grandmother debating over Easter and Passover being the same Holiday. Grandma is Jewish, lights the candles for the dead but has no clue why. Mom is Baptist and never managed to convince my grandmother that they are not the same Holiday.

Dementia? Or just messing with her head. We'll never know.

April 12, 2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

They are exactly the same holiday as far as I can tell, just subtract the Jesus, add 10 plagues, divide by 30 pieces of silver and throw in a few glasses of Manishewitz and we're all on the same page... Your grandma was clearly a visionary!

April 13, 2006 12:18 PM  

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