Ask Avigail: Shavuot

Ask Avigail is a fictional, Biblical-era advice giver. Though renowned for her sagacity, you didn’t need an appointment to see her; she would always squeeze you in.

Ask Avigail: Shavuot

Dear Avigail,

I’ve been hearing rumors about when we are actually getting this long-anticipated gift from G-d – the Torah*. I don’t really know what all the fracas and hoo ha is all about. What is a Torah? Is it heavy? Can it aggravate my hernia? My doctor told me no lifting heavy bricks or mortar; or, take up any large wind instrument. As a matter of fact, none of the 70 other nations agreed to receive the Torah; or, were very vague about getting back to Him, so as not to hurt His feelings. I understand it does not come with a receipt, and re-gifting is absolutely forbidden. The other nations claimed to be doing just fine with their pagan lifestyles, but we are not the kind of people to look a gift horse in the mouth (whatever that means. Maybe it was a typo; maybe it was gift house?)

Nobody here has a decent, accurate watch because they are all cheap knockoffs from the silk trade route. I am nervous because I have had to re-arrange my hectic schedule. I am a cooking instructor and author of a cookbook called GOOD TABLE MANNAS-100 RECIPES FOR THE WILDERNESS BOUND. Chef Iftar Hadjabee gave it five stars and a planet! It’s vegan, as well as in-law friendly, but not too friendly, to the point where you have to turn off the candles to give a subtle hint. The delivery service is flawless; G-d delivers and doesn’t even accept tips. There’s an extra portion for the Sabbath because, let’s face it, who wants to start lighting a fire on Saturday. Who can afford fire insurance, or a policy that will cover in the event of “Jewish lightning?”*

Getting back to the receiving of the Torah; what does one wear to such an awesome phenomenon?

Fond regards,

Reenee Kirshenbaum

Dear Reenee,

I do know why there is confusion as to the actual date. First, to get a space that size in June is almost undoable. But, I have to backtrack a bit and tell you something you probably don’t know about the Pyramids.

They were built to use for drive-in movies. Their smooth surfaces were better than standard projection screens, providing there was no eclipse, or prolonged plague of stampeding, carnivorous beasts; it kept the customers away, in droves. It’s dark, and you couldn’t see what not to step in. Nobody wanted hoof prints on the pyramids. They brought in a designer from Greece, Ari Isosceles, who cost a pretty bit of pillage. Yes, we Hebrews did the leg work, as well as other body parts; but, we were guaranteed movies with subtitles in Aramaic. It took longer than anticipated; after all, what does a Jew know about a hammer or tool shed? Is there ever a guy named Yitzhak on the cover of GOYIM* AND GADGETS TODAY?

I’m getting to the wardrobe query; please get off my back, already.

there was a slave named Fanny Kleinberg (nee Feinberg). She worked in the embalming department, and was never one to waste a thing. She collected scraps of shroud linen. At night, she sewed the fabric together, until she had a piece the size of Cleveland. Cleveland seemed to be a fixed measurement in the time of the Egyptian empire, though it has recently been replaced by the metric system. The linen was very pliant and portable, and Fanny folded it up until it fit in her satchel, (which was also quite pliant and portable. She once lifted a whole Viennese table at a midnight snack and put it discreetly in her purse because lunch was not offered in the budget vacation plan.)

Fanny went to the Deluxor Pyramid, took out the material and covered the entire triangle from head to foot. There was not a crease or wrinkle, as it was part polyester, so subtitles were easily understood. Even so, there was plenty of fabric left; it’s most important feature being flame-retardant. You don’t want to get sloppy with embalming fluid that’s been sitting out, unrefrigerated. What to do with all the surplus? Togas….formal, Torah-worthy togas in seashell white. What Hebrew slave actually witnessed the Sea of Reeds, to know what seashell white was? They jumped in with noses held and eyes shut tight. I put in an order for the ecru, with an optional elastic waist.

But, when the invitations went out, the date of the receiving of the Torah seemed to be blurry. Because of this, Morty Landsberg, the printer, decided to take an early retirement and died. Did G-d want us to have faith that he would let us know, but only after the playoffs were finished?

Rabbi Chaim Gutbaum, a mystic among us, had this to say: “A few nights ago, Moshe found an annoying cyst on his right buttock. He did not want to alarm the entire encampment; nor did he want Miriam to nag him to death to see a specialist. The Pharaoh’s top comic, who chose to come with the Hebrews (they got his jokes), said it was nothing to worry about, just a humoroid. It didn’t make Moshe smile, but he asked Hashem if he could have a private day or two off, for himself. G-d knew about the cyst, but chose not to embarrass him. He gave Moshe all the extra time he wanted, and even offered to get him an appointment with His personal physician. It turned out to be a mutant mosquito bite, this time, the size of Anatolia (another popular metaphor for footage), but that’s why there is doubt about the date.

So Reenie, don’t worry…….you’ll know when it’s time….did you receive an invitation to the exact birthdates of any of your twenty-two children?

See you at Mt. Sinai. Save a spot for me in the shade, if you can.



*Torah: Dos and Don’ts for the lifestyles of the dreamers and earthbound shmerels (defined as a ne’er do well, who inadvertently leaves an omission on his income tax and becomes the jailed roommate with someone named “Butch”).

*Jewish lightning: When a tampered act of nature and a failing business intertwine destinies. Marshmallows are optional.

*Goyim: There are two kinds of people in this world: a. Jews; b. those that hate them (see Goyim).

About the Author
Shashi Ishai is a former stand-up/cartoonist from Teaneck, N.J. She resides in Netanya with her husband, Yacov; daughter, Zehava; son Zaki and dog, Stanley .Shashi is the author of ASK AVIGAIL: Advice from a Biblical Era Sagette, available on Amazon.
Related Topics
Related Posts