I’m fidgeting around, picking scabs, wondering how on earth I could gash my middle finger open on something as stupid as cleaning, when I';m cutting, dicing and chopping all day long – basically my concentration is on anything besides the seder, sure there are a couple of cute girls around the bend to look at, a newly minted crazy BT who thinks he’s chassidish and some wanna be frummy rebels to talk to, but all is not well on the western front, I’m literally starving and it’s causing me to go out of my mind.
I know I’m going out of my mind, because never in my life did carpas taste so good, I know all about trying not to eat a kizayis, so I treasured my small tasteless boiled potato sans skin and tiny sprig of parsley as if I were a survivor in a DP Camp. It’s tough when you go from working at a fine dining institution every day where I get to pig out on lamb, veal racks and freshly ground burgers to my hearts content only to one day find my pantry locked with a big sign that says CHOMETZ. This year was the first year that I was so starved I decided to pig out on carpas.
Years of forced sedering has brought the kezayis problem to the forefront of my consciousness as I debate both of my yetzers about what to do about the gnawing in my belly. “But if God provides with the abiklity to eat in the first place, how could you turn your back on him?” I shrugged off the yetzer tov and asked for the bowl of potatoes to be passed my way, but the water wasn’t salty enough so I had the bowl of radishes and parsley passed my way as well, I dumped them on my plate like a madman as magid in it’s entirety receded into the back of my mind and carpas took center stage.
Carpas isn’t exactly my idea of a meal and I really needed something more, so I added a few spoons of the sweet and savory charoset to my heaping pile of veganism. The hostess commented that we had a really good meal in store, but I knew it wouldn’t be for eons, these were the kind of folks that did a seder right, magid had to be at least 2 hours (official BT regulation) but luckily there was only one youngest child and one sayer of the ma nishtana – in fact I felt like a million bucks when the host merely skipped the part where the entire table has to sing ma nishtana again to afirm what the child just said – I never understood the obsession with ma nishtana and the only explanation I have for the absurdity of it all is that it in some way justifies Sunday school or insanely high yeshiva tuition prices, not sure how it does, but it’s really the only explanation as to why we spend so much time on the four questions which no one would ever think to ask in the first place.
If I could ask four questions they would go something like this – why on this night don’t we eat mustard or corriander? Why does the OU refuse to take a stand on quinoa? Is gebrokts the craziest minhag around? Didn’t they have 3 days to bake bread during the plague of darkness?
But I have better things to concentrate on, like wondering what kind of sin I will get for eating this heaping mound of veggies while everyone else is telling over the story of the story of leaving Egypt, ever notice that people say it like that – The telling of seeper yitzyas mitzrayim is a bit redundant don’t you think?