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Family Farce: Special Purim Spoof

Mishpacha Contributors

The Jewish Woman's Weakly

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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What Not to Do

Adina Lover

“Do you see this?” I ask my kids, pointing to a big red burn on my arm. “This will teach you not to take food out of the oven with a towel. Use mitts.”

I have always admired teachers, those who instill our precious children with knowledge and values. As a mother, raising the next generation of Klal Yisrael, I adopt some of their methods. I’m a teacher, too, but a different kind. I take after Papa Bear; I model “What Not to Do.”

“If you go to bed late,” I say with a yawn, “you’ll be tired tomorrow. Like me.”

“Never go shopping while you’re hungry,” I declare as I pull products randomly off the shelf in the snack aisle, and then open them before we’ve even started to drive home.

“If you hadn’t waited until the last second to tell me about your project, we might have had time to make something a little nicer.” This to my third grader. I hope she falls asleep before I begin my marathon cooking session the night before Yom Tov.

“And now you know why it’s important to put things where they belong,” I inform my son. “After we find your shoes, we’ll look for mine.”

Do as I say, not as I do. I wax on about manners as I nosh from the salad bowl in the kitchen. I send my children walking to school — exercise is good for you — and then drive down the block to pick up a package from a neighbor. I slather sunscreen on the kids, but… actually, I like my tan.

And I’m fulfilling my tafkid. I know I’m a good teacher, because my kids have told me so.

“When I’m a mother, I’ll learn from you,” my daughter said to me after I adjured her to be careful with that knife! while cutting a cucumber in my hand. “I’ll tell my kids to be careful, but I’ll do what you do.”

Left Over No More

Gila Arnold

Leftovers \ˈleft-ˌo-vǝrz\_Something, especially food, remaining after the rest has been used.

It’s an axiom of nature, like the law of entropy, that food cast aside once will continue sitting in its rejected state inside your fridge, day after solitary day, until its pot needs to be cleaned out for next week’s chicken soup.

I don’t recall when I first decided to champion the cause of leftovers. Perhaps it was in a sudden flash of empathy for the useless and discarded items of the world. Or an existential cry of pain for our human efforts laid to waste.

Perhaps it was on a night when I was just too tired to cook.

Whatever the reason, at some point in my long career as Provider of Nutritious Edibles for Public Consumption, I decided to take this on as my personal mission. My tafkid in life. I would be the Hero of the Unconsumed. Eater of the Undesirable. The Great Equalizer of the World’s Perishables.

I would, so help me, finish every last drop of our Shabbos leftovers.


At first, it was like a game. How many ways could I reconstitute potato kugel? How many dinner recipes could I find that included cholent in their ingredients? How long could I get away with sending leftover challah for my kids’ lunch, and how many days would it take until that uneaten challah went green in their knapsacks?

Soon this mission took on a life of its own. There is something thrilling about having a challenge, week after gastronomic week. Something supremely satisfying about filling those pots and pans with food each Friday, and seeing them slowly get emptied out throughout the week, not by luck or magic, but by my own wit and creativity and sheer force of will.

“Come on, sweetie, gefilte fish lollipops are yummy,” I’d beseech, temptingly waving a ground-fish ball on a stick at my three-year-old.

Now, I don’t mean to brag, but there are some who say that, like the challah of our Imahos, my leftovers are still just as fresh the following Thursday. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 581)

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