The Freedman Archives: Part II

The following is a collection of letters written by Gary Freedman to his imagined friend.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Take This, My Hamantaschen

Take This, My Hamantaschen Brian--
March 27, 2004
Hey, buddy-boy? What's going down?
People ask me--and, possibly, you, too, wonder: what do I do when I'm not raising the dead and walking on water?
It's a reasonable question to which I will give a reasonable answer. To wit: I ponder weighty matters. I've been working on the following intellectual problem for a number of years now. Yes, it's taken years to arrive at even the threshold of the answer to the following puzzle of searing importance: What would the Catholic religion be like if The Big Jew in the Sky had been crucified at Purim instead of at Passover.
I am only now beginning to arrive at some tentative thoughts, thoughts that might open vistas to the solution of a problem of great complexity and overwhelming importance for mankind.
I have shared my thoughts over the years with my colleagues at the Institute for Advanced Psychosis. Out of our careful collegial consideration of the pertinent issues has come some glimpses of a tentative, yes, tentative (but altogether ineluctable) set of inferences.
I am prepared now to share my thoughts with you--yes, you old chap.
The following inferences, though as yet simply inferences, carry a weight and authority so as to render them captivating.
First, the mass as we know it would be, as we say in the trade, radically different. All the mumbo jumbo, the whole magilla, so to speak, would be a totally different can of flour.
Catholic priests through the ages, and around the world, would, I suspect intone the communion formula: Take this my hamantaschen, as a token of Esther's love of baked goods.
Lent would correspond to the 40 days before Purim. It would be a time of sacrifice and abstention. Abstention from what you might ask? Abstention from mun and lekvar, you silly boy! Lent would comprise a holy dedication to low- carb, non-baked goods fare.
Can you imagine going 40 days without Entenman's?
One must assume that, owing to the onerous strictures of such Lenten sacrifice, many Catholics would stray from the ordained path of abstention--thereby committing mortal sin.
We must therefore assume that the holy rite of confession would, in many cases be dedicated to parishioners' Lenten penance. "Forgive me, father, for I have sinned." "And what did you do, my son?" "I ate a poppy seed."
The entire course of European history would have been unrecognizable. It would not have been the present past as we know it.
The religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, for example, would have pitted the partisans of the pitted prune against devotees of the unpitted.
Religious artifacts would depict The Big Jew in the Sky, a hamantaschen in hand, wearing a clown outfit--in keeping with Purim frivolity Lenox China would offer an entire line of porcelain Christs, noise-makers in hand.
Special prayers would be said for those poor unfortunates who had overbaked their hamantaschen, and in commemoration of the time the Virgin Mary accidentally left a batch of hamantaschen in the oven too long. Christians would intone the formula: "Oh Christ, theyburned!"
Are you getting the picture, buddy? Now that's a religion I could go for!
Law suits concerning hamantaschen would be making their way up the federal circuitry even as we speak. "May a federal school lunch program offer hamantaschen? Or does that violate the Establishment Clause."
You get the picture?
The implications are wide and varied, affecting every aspect of life: the mind boggles.
Check you out later, Brian. I'm getting hungry.


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