When we left Egypt, our family was left with the basic dilemma every fleeing refugee experiences; one carry on, lots of stuff. We decided to go with the family cave drawings and nix the juicer. We threw practicality to the wind, which settled in the corner of Max Weinberger’s left eye. Who would have remembered to bring the eye drops in the mad fandango to get out, before traffic hit. Do you think we made the right decision?
Of course, you made the right choice, although physical possessions aren’t a real necessary. You can always make do; or, rely on a neighbor who does. Take a look at the following story. Life is about the right choices, so take heed………….
Adam awoke from a deep sleep and found that he had a sore ribcage and an empty bottle of Tylenol PM. He turned over, only to see Eve. She was made from his ribcage; hence, the aspirin. Adam downed another aspirin, as his newlywed awoke without benefit of makeup, or wrinkle cream; not even the peel of an aloe vera plant, to smoothen her rhino hide complexion. The Midrash has argued that actually, the pain killers were not for Adam, but for the tummy tuck Hashem bestowed on Eve, on a whimsy. He was a perfectionist. She had less hair on her back, and more palm leaves on her front, than an eco-friendly Club Med.
Adam dutifully thanked Hashem for sending him his beshert*. His short-lived marriage to Lillith* was a disaster. (Rumors had it that Adam was a Litvak; Eve was a flashy Glitziana- too much of a cultural schism.)
Adam and Eve decided to commit and be a couple, albeit, there were no others to choose from. They got along so well…they both were Rock fans, and managed to buy tickets way in advance for the Messianic concert, GRATEFUL DEAD. They also loved the Moody Jews, and were both vegans. They took long walks along the streams, pondered Creation, and whether they should rent or buy.
Before you knew it, they went from weaving baskets to bassinets. They began to plan their future. Perhaps a bigger cave would suit them more, now that fruit from her loins would soon appear? They took a long walk through East of Eden, and found a beautiful cave. It appeared that the former tenant had painted a story of his family tree on the living room wall. His family dynasty was similar, but, literally, short lived. His last painting was of him running from a lion, and someone else had painted crumbs. After much bantering back and forth, they agreed to keep the cave murals, as terracotta was neutral.
Later that evening, after settling in, Adam went out to face the stars and shoot the breeze with Hashem. He thanked Him for His many blessings; most important, the lack of difficulty in which he obtained a mortgage.
Meanwhile, Eve was putting the last of the crockery away, when she was suddenly distracted by a sound. A snake, dressed in a shiny, diamond-checked, gabardine suit (obviously, off the rack*) stood at the entrance way, and tipped his cocked, black fedora in respect toward her.
“Sorry I startled you, Mrs. I am your new neighbor, and I live under a boulder a few feet away. I am at your disposal, if you or the Mister need anything…anything,” he hissed in his smarmy, snaky way. From the way he looked at her for an unwavering five seconds, as if she were the only woman in the world, she guessed him to be of Mediterranean descent, maybe French, or Italian.
Before Adam realized, it was dawn. Adam came back to his new home. His wife was sleeping in her usual place, but on Adam’s side, he saw a pile of molted skin and apple cores, and he became livid. He vowed revenge, and made a mental note: new shoes, possible passport holder if enough snakeskin available. Almost immediately, Adam and Eve heard His voice. It was not the warm, fuzzy tone they were accustomed to…When Hashem called them by their full names…ADAM BEN HASHEM, CHAVA BAT HASHEM, COMETH RIGHT NOW…it meant more than time out.
They were banished from Gan Eden*, without as much as a souvenir shower cap. Along the way, they were surprised to see the slimy, fast-talking snake, crawling on his belly, without feet. The snake called out in pain. His stomach was undergoing an involuntary derm abrasion. His only consolation was that he could break the record for limbo*. He left a trail of business cards in his path; it just said, “Fast- talking, snake in the grass at your service/I can’t chase ambulances, so you call me.” So, the snake had made his parents proud after all, and went into law.
Adam and Eve choose the path farthest from the snake. Although Adam assured Eve it was just the cabbage soup, she started to have pain. Not the kind you have when you have the start of a sore throat; more like the type of pain in which a wild beast is ripping out your throat, as an appetizer. Eve had started the beginning of mankind, without a spinal. A boy was born, with the worst case of psoriasis and eczema. Nobody spoke about it, but Adam smiled and embraced his new son, as he did a little dance, in his new snakeskin sandals and wallet to match.
*Hashem: a name G-d goes by, for professional use.
*Beshert: two peas in a pod; a lid to every pot; a yin and yangette
*Lilith: Adam’s ex
*Litvak: person who has the cultural traits imbued in his genetic make- up, from the Northern region, from whence he comes
*Glitziana: person who carries the one genetic trait from his ancestral home of Glitz- a passion for all things shiny, worn in copious abundance, with the price tag still attached. Not a Litvak.
*Gan Eden: gated community for the sin-free
*“Off the Rack”: Infers the idea of a generic, pedestrian, mass-produced garment, bought by someone with no specific taste, style, money; and, who has a penchant for waiting until the last minute, to do or buy something for an impending occasion.