The people picked up their dough when it was not yet leavened.
We like to joke when any Jewish Holiday comes along
(and there is always a Jewish holiday coming along)
you can count on the supermarkets to put up a display
of matzah. I mention this because Tu b’Shevat is coming
and even though they’ve barely taken down the Hanukkah matzah
and Tu b’Shevat isn’t really on their radar and wouldn’t typically
get an end cap at the store, if we did tell them about it, for sure
that end cap would be full of matzah. Praise God, at least the grocers
are not anti-semites. You can understand their confusion when it is
only January and months before we officially sit down in comfy chairs
to remember our quick exit from the narrow place, we’re
already talking about the unleavened dough on our backs.
I mean Purim hasn’t even happened yet and that’s one of our slightly
more famous holidays, let alone this one about trees or something.
It was a strange choice, the dough, when today if we’re asked
what we would take if we had to leave the house suddenly
we usually mention photos, and important documents
and maybe the dog. But no, after four hundred and thirty years
our first thought was let’s not let this dough go to waste.
We didn’t know manna would eventually rain from the sky.
We just knew we’d complain if it didn’t. So out we walked
with the dough and much of Egypt’s riches leaving them
with their dead and their sorrow and their lubed-up chariots
ready to leap into action when Pharaoh changed his mind, again.
But that’s a story for another poem. Tune in next week and
we’ll see if I remember to mention it.
Rick Lupert, a poet, songleader and graphic designer, is the author of 27 books including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion.” Find him online at www.JewishPoetry.net