Judaism…You Can’t Fake it Till You Make It!
By Stephanie D. Lewis
As a writer, I have a naturally curious personality. Okay, alright, so I’m a nosy eavesdropper. Are you happy now? Last week I logged into a Zoom call for women applying to write Jewish greeting cards for “Hallmark-owitz.” (Yes, I just made that company name up!) Because I’m shy, I kept my video off. Because I’m sneaky, I kept my audio off. Get the picture? I was a Jewish fly on the wall overhearing these two women schmoozing. But I wanted to make sure I aced them out of the position.
Lady #1 — I’m nervous. I shouldn’t have said I was Jewish on my resume, but I really need this job so figured I’d fake it. Give me some pointers before the publisher comes online? Or do you think I’m just mezuzah? That’s how Jews say ‘crazy’ in Yiddish, yes?
Lady #2 – I wouldn’t know. I’m Catholic. I pretend to be Jewish so my husband’s mother won’t flip out. Let’s help each other. I’ve overheard a lot of terminology.
Lady #1 – Wow, Murphy’s Law we’re both ‘gentles!’ Maybe Murphy’s Jewish? No worries. I have ideas for greeting cards from watching Fiddler on the Roof. For an engagement, it can say, “You gave each other a pledge? Unheard of! Unthinkable!” And a “Get-Well” card for someone coughing can say, “As the good book says, when you spit in the air it lands in your face!” For someone who’s recently taken up sewing – “Even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!” But oddly, Jews celebrate New Years in Sept.
Lady #2 – Oh? That must be why they call it Rush Hashanah. In a hurry to get the old year over with. Well I have an idea for their other holiday, Passover. You know the one where they have to go hungry and ‘Pass-Over” all that good food to atone for their sins?
Lady #1 – Silly you! The one where they starve is called Yom Kippur. First word pronounced “Yum” to torture them about fasting. Second word pronounced “Keeper” to remind them to ‘Keep’ their famine going for 24 hours. Everybody knows that!
Lady #2 – (Slaps forehead) That’s right, I forgot. Passover is the one honoring the dearly departed who’ve “passed over” to the other side. Right? They light one of those short fat candles I’ve seen in the supermarket – called a “Yard Side” candle. How they keep it burning in their side yard for eight days and nights with a breeze blowing is amazing!
Lady #1 – Exactly! It’s some miracle oil, I hear. Hence, “The Festival of Light.”
Lady #2 – Yes! And don’t forget Purim. So generous, those Jewish people are!
Lady #1 – How do you mean? Explain to me.
Lady #2 — Purim is where the wealthy people, or “The Richim” donate money to “The Poorim.” THAT’S why that one Fiddler on the Roof song is so popular! “If I Were a Richim Man” is traditionally sung on Purim. C’mon, get with it, will ya? And there’s another holiday my mother-in-law talks about that sounds like skewered meat. Know it?
Lady #1 — (Mutters into phone) What’s a Jewish holiday that rhymes with Shish Kebab? Aha! It came right up…“Tisha B’av!” We’ve so got this, girlfriend. I’m feeling much better about everything. I’ll start composing cute rhymes for that holiday they eat bitter herbs. “With the smell of horseradish permeating your noses, have fun reenacting the days of Wine and Moses!” Not only will we get hired, we’ll get immediate raises!
At that point I couldn’t resist turning on my volume, introducing myself. And yes, I also corrected their mistakes, showing off how much I knew. And if you think they called me a “Maven,” you’re close. They called me a “Raven.” And then we all three got hired. Oy!
Stephanie D. Lewis writes for the comedy section on Huffington Post and at OnceUponYourPrime.com