The Question My Daughter Asked Me After This Year’s Purim Seuda

The Question My Daughter Asked Me After This Year’s Purim Seuda

“Eema, does it bother you that you spent most of the Purim meal in the kitchen?”
And this is what I told my daughter in response late this afternoon: “No. It actually doesn’t. That’s the feeling of Purim for me, the dishes and the mess and the half-eaten shalach manot all over. And I can’t find clean glasses. Or any napkins. Purim, to me, feels like quick sand. I think I’ve almost pulled myself out of it, but then I get slurped back in again. But I don’t fight it or resent that slurping back, I just flow with it, that quick-sand feeling is what Purim feels like to me.”
“But don’t you feel bad you’re not sitting at the table with everybody else?”
“You know, one year, when I was your age, I played french horn in my college’s pit orchestra for a performance of Oklahoma. I spent just as much time in rehearsals as those students who’d appeared on stage, but after the show, I saw how the chorus members were flooded with flowers and ‘good jobs!’ And I didn’t receive even a single flower or “good job!” I hadn’t been on the stage. So even though I’d made a bigger contribution to the show, as the lone french horn, than the chorus members, nobody had seen me or known how hard I’d worked or how well I’d played.”
“Exactly! That’s no fun!”
“That was how I felt then. But now, it doesn’t bother me. It’s not that I love washing dishes, I don’t! But I feel a certain satisfaction, a sweetness, knowing I’m the motor keeping the whole show going.”
“You know what , Eema? My roommates and I host big meals, and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen washing dishes. But I actually feel good because I know that meal out there couldn’t be happening, if it wasn’t for me.”

3 comments

  1. Good one, Chana Jenny. GOOD ONE.

  2. Vital to integrate this major concept about emulating the Almighty’s hidden ways!

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