The Peel

Dear N.:
Oh, how I love the High Holidays. All of our dear, close friends whom we see once a year come to shul, dressed to the nines. For months in advance I look forward to seeing my beloved Milton in his new suit from Nordstrom. (Even at his age, he can still buy off the rack!)
Some parts of the service make me uncomfortable, though. “We have sinned, we have betrayed, we have stolen…” Jews, engaged in such behavior? Ridiculous! Except for that goniff Shapiro, charging $350 an hour just to write a letter to the city, and yet they still haven’t fixed the street light outside our condo. But he doesn’t even go to our shul. (He goes to Reform. Obviously.)
N., my Milton and I live blameless lives. At the end of the day, I just don’t see why I should fast, or even show up at services. What’s in it for me?
— Pure as Driven Snow

Dear Snow:
I should judge? If you tell me you’re as pure as all 36 hidden tzadikkim put together, who am I to argue? Fortunately, vanity is not considered a sin among our people. If it were, we could never have been blessed with so many doctors.
N., if you’re hungry, eat—but wait for a break (which is to say: discreetly sneak out just before the sermon. The easiest way to do so is to embed yourself within the hundreds of others doing the same). Otherwise, you might miss some of the best parts of the service while you’re engaging in gluttony (also not a sin—it’s great to be a Jew, no?) at the nearest deli, which, such a shanda (but also convenient) is open on Yom Kippur, hardly surprising for a place that will serve you a ham and cheese as fast as you can say “extra mayo.”
Yom Kippur services are long and boring, which is why G-d has to threaten to withhold us from the Book of Life to get us to attend. But it is a great time to look around and see which of the young maydelach present could be a suitable match for your handsome grandson, she should only be healthy. Of course, first you’ll want to rule out the girls who are dressed like they’re going dancing rather than davening, which means that 74.2 percent of them will be immediately disqualified based on skirt length alone.
And so, Snow, whether in the end you choose to feast or to fast, be sure to attend services. Does G-d care? I don’t know, but I do know this: in an average Major League game there can be 20 or more foul balls hit into the stands. Choose wisely.
— N. Troyer

In the spirit of the High Holidays, N. Troyer agrees to forgive you your trespasses against the author in exchange for your sending a copy of this publication to somebody who doesn’t already receive it. It’s a good deal.


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