December 2021/January 2022

Mazel & Mishagoss: The Time God Left Me a Voicemail


By Stephanie Lewis

It all began when my cellphone accidentally went through the washing machine, (Not the delicate cycle!) and so I googled solutions – “Submerge your wet mobile device in rice to absorb moisture.” Unfortunately, I only had Rice Krispies in my pantry so as my Android snapped, crackled, and popped, I noticed a grain of cereal wedged into the tiny speaker. I performed intricate surgery with tweezers, needles, and safety pins, but it remained stuck. Resigning myself to a phone without sound, my smart-alecky teenager suggested I run it through the washing machine to dislodge the Rice Crispy. Haha, thanks for nothing, Wise Guy.

Flustered, I changed my outgoing message, instructing people to text me instead. For stubborn callers who refused, I relied on the transcription my cellphone typed out as it played back the inaudible voicemails. Yesterday came this surprising (and miraculous!) written interpretation: “Hello! This is God with Lox. I understand you’re dissatisfied with the service you’ve been receiving. I’ll drop by your home soon to see what can be done.”

Seriously? God? And he’s bringing Lox? Was I supposed to supply bagels? How did he even get my number? (I sure hope my number’s not up!) I wanted to inform God that I wasn’t completely ‘dissatisfied’ with his service, though he might’ve answered a few more of my prayers, (blessing my kids when they sneezed, etc.) so I glanced at my incoming log (because you can’t just ignore God’s calling) expecting his originating number to be listed as “Blocked” or “Unknown” but lo and behold, he had 1-800 digits! Just like God, making himself accessible to the masses, toll-free! But if we spoke, I knew God’s voice would be muffled and I’d keep saying, “Pardon?” wasting all of God’s minutes, because he probably hadn’t enrolled in Verizon’s Unlimited Plan.

Instead, I recorded a new outgoing message, this time with a plea. “Hi! It’s Stephanie, but Good Lord please text me because my speaker’s broken!” I then excitedly entered God’s phone number into my contacts with his name in all capital letters followed by three exclamation points. (Three seemed like the right amount because of that Trinity business, though I knew God was Jewish.) For good measure, I also gave God his own ringtone – The William Tell Overture.

Next thing I knew, he had followed directions and my screen lit up with a text from – wait for it … GOD! Here is an exact replication of our intriguing little chat.

GOD!: Hi Stephanie. When would be a convenient time for me to make an appearance?

(Good heavens! I needed time to clean my house and cook something spectacular to serve. Just think … soon I’ll be serving God!)

Me: Gosh, um uh… how many hours do you think you’ll stay?

GOD!: With luck and a few adjustments, I’ll have you watching your Life Time in a flash!

Me: Nooooo! I don’t want to watch my Life flash before my eyes. I know what that means.

I was nervously awaiting God’s in-person visit, when my cell rang again. I let it go to voicemail but quickly glanced at the transcript to make sure it wasn’t God saying he was stuck in traffic.

“Hi! This is the Senior Rabbit from Temple Solel wondering if I can hop by today to pick up the 14 carrots you’re donating for my reproduction.” Rabbit? Hop? Carrots? It was the Rabbi. And ‘hop’ should’ve been ‘stop’ And I was donating a 14K ring for a reproduction auction. He ended with reciting Shema, but it came across as “Hare O Israel…” Dumb smartphone translation app!

And suddenly it all became quite clear. I finally figured everything out and therefore I wasn’t at all surprised when five minutes later, my door knocked loudly (And it wasn’t Knock, Knock Knocking on Heaven’s Door.) and there standing on my front porch (in the flesh!) was definitely NOT “God with Lox” but instead it was “Rod with Cox” (acting a bit fresh) – that obnoxious millennial employee who was here to fix my poor cable reception so I could finally watch Lifetime television. 2022 was starting out quite interesting already. Happy New Year, readers!

Stephanie D. Lewis ( will inject humor into anything you hire her to write.


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