March 31, 2010
Eventually the Pharaoh relented when he saw the lifeless body of his first-born son. “Go.” he ordered Moses, tears streaming down his face, “Take your people and leave this land”.
“Right,” said Moses, somewhat lost for words. “Thanks. Come on Aaron, we'd better tell them before the bugger changes his mind”.
The news spread around the Jewish areas like it was on the Edgware K email list. The people knew they had to prepare as quickly as possible, and that they needed a packed lunch. Moses had been very clear about this. “Bake bread for the journey”, he told them, “but you’ve only got 18 minutes to do it in. Pretend you’re on Ready, Steady, Cook.”
“How long must this 18-minute bread last?” one slightly difficult chap asked. “Yes,” said another, “where are we going, how long will it take us to get there, and how much of this dreadful stuff are we going to need? I’m feeling constipated just thinking about it.”
“Shut up.” Moses replied shortly.
Now some of the unleavened bread had been made from wheat that had been watched over from the moment the seed was sown to the time it was ground and made into flour and then cooked. Only perfect ears of corn were used for this flour. All this farting around sorely vexed Aaron and Moses.
“I don’t believe you people,” moaned Aaron. “Don’t you realise we’re in a hurry and all you can think about is having posher matzah than your neighbour. Are you all nuts?”
“Nuts? Nuts? Is it OK to take nuts? Are all nuts kosher for this journey?” came the anxious reaction from one housewife.
“It depends” replied another without looking up from her sweeping. Are you Sephardi? If so, you’re OK, but if not you can’t take peanuts. I’m Ashkenazi so I’m throwing my peanuts out.”
“Shut up!” Moses bellowed. “You guys just don’t get it do you? And what’s with the cleaning already? We’ve got to get out of here in a hurry, and we’re not coming back.”
“I’m not going away without leaving the place spotless. What if someone should see it?”
“I don’t know. Anyone. A burglar.”
“So what? What do you care? You’ll be gone forever.”
“People will talk. I don’t want anyone saying ‘Mrs Koblinski goes away without tidying up’”.
“Mrs Koblinski? How did you end up in this story? We have Cohens, Levis and Israels here. No Koblinskis.”
“Do you want to see my parents' ketubah?”
“No!” Moses screamed as he rushed away.
“Just as well,” called Mrs Koblinski after him, it’s already packed. I don’t want any hassle for my children from the Beit Din when we arrive in the promised land.