In columns past, I have discussed my theories on inventions. Well, more like who invented certain things. For example, a man definitely invited the first high-heeled shoe. More specifically, a man who most likely didn’t like women invented high heels. A woman definitely invented the dishwasher. The washing machine. The dryer. Basically anything that is helpful to women had to be invented by either a woman or a man who was deeply in love with a woman. Or a man who wanted not to have to wash and dry the dishes or hand wash the clothes for the woman he deeply loved.
I often wonder about the inventor of chocolate. Was that a man who really loved a woman or was he a really passive-aggressive son of a gun? Because chocolate, as we know, is a wonderful, healing, comforting gift that also can make us want to scream and yell as our clothes begin not to close from the wonderful, healing, delicious, thoughtful gift. Good invention or bad invention? That is the type of discussion you can have at your holiday table. Chocolate. Pros and cons on its effects on the 21st century. A perfectly acceptable topic.
For some reason, the person who invented the Jewish holidays, which, apparently, was God Himself, thought to put Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah all together in close calendar proximity. This means many different things to many different people. Lots of menus, lots of food shopping, lots of cooking, lots of cleaning, lots of laundry, lots of new clothes, lots of manicures and pedicures, lots of family time, lots of company, lots of praying time, and last, but not least, lots of speeches from rabbis. Now remember, I said the holidays mean different things to different people, so all of the things listed might apply to you, some of them or none of them might apply to you… It’s all good. But I would like to concentrate on the “lots of speeches” part.
Rabbis really seem to have to earn their keep this time of year. I wonder if this is what God intended. He was sitting in his golden throne surrounded by His angels, harps playing Mordechai Shapiro in the background (because it is God after all and He can listen to whatever music He wants at any time, even if this was thousands of years before Mordechai’s music graced our ears in the present time. And hey, if you don’t like this scenario, you don’t have to read it, this is my column after all and I can be as ridiculously imaginative as I want to be).
Anyway, back to the golden throne. God says, “I think that not only do I want to go through everyone’s good deeds and bad deeds, decide who is going to live and who, unfortunately for them, but fortunately for me, is going to die (because we always need good people up here helping guide those down below), I want to hear what all of my rabbinic disciples have to say at least eight times over a four-week period. That would be fun. Because then I can see if those I put on a favorable list are still paying attention to all of those promises they made when they were praying to me.”
He continues, “I am also curious to see how different each of those speeches will be. Because, really, how many times can a rabbi talk about being nicer to one another? Even I know that doesn’t last long, and I am the one Who wants everyone to get along! I mean if one more person forgets that it’s the 10 days of repentance until the last day and starts randomly helping perfectly capable strangers cross the street, I might have to arrange another toilet paper shortage and nobody wants that! I mean really people, you have 10 whole days!!”
When you look at it like that, it kind brings a whole new perspective, doesn’t it? So maybe I need my new rabbi to discuss the problem with humanizing and normalizing God’s existence. Are we supposed to try and relate to Him like I just did, or is that just another reason why I am not getting into heaven? (Just put it on the list, kids. Just put it on the list.)
In any event, I will try to stop waxing philosophical next week and hope you all have a gmar tov — a favorable judgment — and a year filled with excellent speeches.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is so looking forward to having Son #1, Dil #1, Gd #1, Son #2, Fdil#2, and Son #3 all in the same sukkah, because it’s the last time that is going to happen for a long time — possibly until the messiah comes — but it’s better than nothing!