Yesterday I blogged about my friend Mat, who’d suddenly decided to bake his own last-minute matzah for Passover. This morning, on the way to the subway, I gave him a pre-Shabbos call. While we talked, I happened to mention that I’d written about him for, oh, the few thousand people who wind up on this blog every day.
He asked me what I’d written.
“Oh, basically, that you were insane,” I told him.
To the credit of his good name, he neither hacked into my email nor called my bosses and told them to fire me. Instead, he gave a huge sigh.
“I don’t get why everyone thinks it’s a big deal,” he said. “You know, the Children of Israel managed to pack up their entire lives overnight, heaved some flour on their backs, and baked matzah as they were running for their lives from the Egyptians. And they didn’t even have a recipe. Why’s it such a big deal?”
I was rendered speechless. Not only speechless, but, as the kids say, I got schooled. If there was a slang verb for being out-Midrashed, that would be me right now.
The only thing I could offer in reply was that my cousin, who isn’t observant at all but really, really loves her Jewish heritage, used to say in high school that if we were really trying to be true to the Israelites’ story, we would just eat fast food.