| Second Thoughts |

Family Last: a Groundbreaking Purim Saga

In the spirit of Purim we present to our loyal readers our own version of venahafoch hu

Upside down, topsy- turvy, inverted: That is the meaning of venahafoch hu in Megillas Esther 9:1; i.e., at the end of the Purim saga, everything was topsy-turvy.

In the spirit of Purim we present to our loyal readers our own version of venahafoch hu.

I am humbled to have been appointed founding editor of Mishpacha magazine’s revolutionary new supplement, to be known as Family Last. This magazine will break new ground never before tested in the annals of journalism. We proudly present here an introduction to the special new features of this new journalistic adventure, which will feature:

ADVICE: Columns that extol the virtues of taking care of yourself first, that put an end to worrying about the feelings or welfare of others, and that consider your family last. We will reject any items that speak positively of unselfishness or self-sacrifice on behalf of others. The goals of our advice column are very clear: For us, you are Number One; everyone and everything else is last.

EASE OF ACCESS: Our new journal will not be bogged down by outmoded rules of grammar and punctuation. Spelling will be disregarded; correct spelling will be optional. Whatever sounds right will be accepted for publication without change. Paragraphs, commas, semi-colons, quotation marks, font sizes, italics, lower-and-higher-case letters — all are unnecessary frills in the magazine of the future. Emojis are more than sufficient. This policy will eliminate the need for burdensome proofreaders and copy editors, enabling us to pass the savings along to you.

SERIALS: We will run stories that show how self-discipline is destructive, and how selflessness leads to personal breakdowns. The serials will glorify full freedom and lack of discipline. Schools and learning and study will be mocked, and we will emphasize the need for unending fun and pleasure. All serials will demonstrate the destructiveness of thinking of others first. This message might corrupt the younger generation, but this is not our concern, because we remain true to our slogan: “The family that lasts puts its family last.”

HEALTH: Our special health section will destroy all myths about your personal well-being. We will demonstrate the virtues of overeating, the joys of remaining obese, and the dangers of losing weight. The benefits of high cholesterol, of sugar, fatty cakes, and candies will be stressed, as will the risks of leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and plain water. The health advantages of cigarette smoking will be featured, and daily exercise will be shown to be a self-serving myth perpetrated by the exercise industry to sell more equipment.

FOOD: In keeping with our groundbreaking philosophy, our pioneering Food First section will feature an ongoing series about the little-known health benefits of year-round daily consumption of sufganiot with ice cream, as well as the emotional benefits of sugary soft drinks — all in the spirit of our guiding philosophy: “If it tastes good and it feels good, then it must be good.”

LETTERS: In our new letters-to-the-editor policy, we will publish only those letters that tell us how meaningful and helpful our magazine is, and how it has changed lives. Critical letters that do not make us feel good will therefore have to be assigned to the dustbin.

ADVERTISING: Advertisers will be subject to strict guidelines. Preferential treatment will be given to products that enhance your personal lives, such as spas and beauty treatments. Products designed for families or for children — such as children’s clothing, juvenile games and books, toys, dolls, playground equipment, swings, sliding boards, puzzles — all of which make children happy — will be rejected as contrary to our mission.

COVER PHOTOS: Our coveted cover photos will be limited to those whose finely honed self-interest and unceasing self-promotion has catapulted them to the pinnacle of success. Exclusive interviews with them will reveal how, already in childhood, they discovered that unadulterated selfishness and always putting themselves first can guarantee success in contemporary society.

All the above is but a sneak preview behind the curtains of Family Last. We welcome you to the exclusive ranks of the world’s most discriminating readers — but we pray that as soon as Purim is over, Nahafoch Hu will itself experience an upside-down world in which, once again, family will return to its rightful place: First.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 1004)

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