| From My Table |

From my Table: Mishloach Manos

I know I’ve expressed this often over the years, but I love to brag about planning for Shavuos in the winter (we are, ha) and planning for Purim shortly after Succos. The thing is that these benchmarks have zero effect on reality. When people stop me in the street and say, “You must be holding by Pesach already,” my response is, “Well… yes, for the magazine… but in real life I haven’t figured out my own shalach manos!” The passage of magazine time isn’t the same as real-life time to me. It’s not a shoemaker’s kids effect, it’s just that so many months in advance, the Yom Tov isn’t real enough for me yet.

As Adar sinks in, I’m sure it will become more real, but for now, it’s almost a coincidence that we’re putting out the mishloach manos issue and Purim is actually around the corner. It’s like a pseudo-reality.

Meanwhile, as I write this, my inbox is buzzing with emails rushing me to shop for summer clothes, and Hurry, it’s all almost gone! And I’m realizing that this is also a brand of pseudo-

reality. Is planning mishloach manos in October any different from shopping for kids’ clothes for Pesach (er, Shavuos, rather) in January? It doesn’t feel that much like prep for the upcoming Yom Tov but rather another frenzied item to cross off your to-do list.

I don’t want to pass judgment on whether it’s right or wrong, a welcome reality or a flawed system, but maybe it’s a blessing in disguise when we have the materialistic prep out of the way with plenty of time left. It makes room for us to immerse ourselves in the festivities of the Yom Tov that spark connection — and something deeper.

But back to our pre-Purim planning sessions. There are always so many details to work through for our mishloach manos issues, and Esther O. and I spend many hours over the phone on cold December days leading up to this shoot. Aside from being blown away by Esther’s talent and awesome creativity, what has truly inspired me over the years is how the creativity is the dusting of snow on top of a character built on seichel, on doing the right thing, and on not getting swept up by Oh, all the things we can do. I wish you all had the backdrop that I have: a context that is rich in priorities and sprinkled with details to present a pretty package.

Enjoy the process of pulling together all the details, especially if that’s your thing, and I hope it will usher in a real connection to Purim along with it.

Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 781)

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