The Great Plotnik

Monday, March 25, 2013

Great Smells and a Thought About Celebration

The kitchen at Great Plotnik World Headquarters smells really good. Sadly, Moses should have brought down from Mt. Sinai one more commandment, which was you don't cook all the food perfectly and then sit around talking until it all ends up dry and overcooked. But he didn't do that, did he?

Ducknik's macaroons are their very best right when they come out of the oven, which was an hour ago. But it'll be eight more hours 'til anyone tastes them, and by then...

This year, Plotnik obeyed Commandment One ("thou shalt listen to thy wife") and read the Hagaddah several days in advance, to prepare himself for the service. There is some interesting stuff in there, when you're not hurrying through to get finished before the brisket gravy cooks away and the matzoballs have absorbed all the stock so instead of one small matzoball in a bowl of soup you have one huge matzoball and no soup.

Plottie was struck by this one line, which is spoken before we drink the second cup of DELICIOUS concord grape wine. It comes as we list all the plagues once visited upon the Egyptians because their Pharoah was such a hardhead. We spill drops of wine from our glass first, because "by drinking from this partially filled cup, we express our sympathy for the Egyptians who lost their lives when Israel attained freedom."

What year are we talking about? Somewhere around 1430 BC. Do present day Israelis still feel that sympathy for their neighbors to whom the same thing happened in 1948?

Plotnik suspects many Israelis do think about it, at least on Passover night, but aside from that moment the idea enters their minds about as often as we bemoan what happened to the Cherokee or the Sioux.

If you're Siouxish you have a different story to tell. This all goes to say: don't believe everything you read. Still, The Great Plotnik is proud to be celebrating a holiday that has been talked about in the same way for thousands of years. He likes fitting into that great patchwork of history, playing his infinitesimally tiny role. It is better than no role.

And he is glad to see one passage, at least, amidst all the celebrations of how God chose us, and blessed us, and smote our enemies, and parted the waters to lead us into Zion, before drowning the poor Egyptian grunt soldiers who were forced to pursue us to their deaths, that makes us remember that our adversaries also had lives.


At 8:55 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

OMG those macaroons look delicious!
I don't suppose you can box them up and send them to Atlanta?
PS: 1 should always read one's script in advance!:)


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