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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
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Busy Work

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Alternatively, you can write Pharaoh a stern letter:

“Dear Pharaoh,

Let my people go.

Love, Moshe.

PS – Please note the enclosed snake. It used to be a stick.”

Dear Mordechai,

My slave-driving boss just told us that from now on, we have to make our own cement. My question is this: How on earth do you make cement?

Perplexed, Deep Quicksand

Dear Perplexed,

Beats me. I think you need apples, nuts and wine.

I always just get a box in the mail.

Dear Mordechai,

I feel like I have a frog in my throat. Can you recommend a good way to get rid of it? I tried hot tea with lemon, but that just made the frog angry.

Ribbit, Ribbit

Dear Ribbit,

Well, frogs like eating flies. You can swallow a fly. On the other hand, if you feed the frog, it might decide to stay.

So my advice is that you swallow something that might actually eat a frog. What eats frogs? Maybe a hawk. And then a cat to eat the hawk. And then a dog. And so on.

If that’s too hard to swallow, we can try figuring out what else eats frogs. How about a snake?

Dear Mordechai,

Can you recommend a good way to get rid of lice? It’s all over the kingdom. I can’t believe these magicians can reincarnate dead cats, but they can’t conjure up a decent lice shampoo.

Itchy, Everywhere

Dear Itchy,

I actually don’t know what to do about lice. We’ve never had any, baruch Hashem. (I know, I know: “Who’s Hashem?”)

My kids’ yeshiva has nit checks every year, and they charge for it, because making sure the entire student body doesn’t contract vermin is somehow a bonus service that doesn’t fall under regular tuition. But they do this two days before school starts, so I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do if they find lice. Maybe we have two days to find a new school that allows it.

But thanks anyway for sending me this question, in an envelope that I’m afraid to touch.

Dear Mordechai,

My entire town just got hit by a major blackout. Was it something I did? What should I do? What did our forefathers do before light was invented? Do you know where I can buy yahrtzeit candles? Should I eat everything in the freezer? I did, and now I can’t move. Literally. All I can do is stand here and think of questions. What was that noise? I feel like I’m in the dark.

Pondering, Exact Location Unknown

Dear Pondering,

I’d send you some answers, but I don’t know how you’re planning to read them.

Dear Mordechai,

Our slaves just left. What do we do? We haven’t done a thing for ourselves in 210 years.

Starving, Exact Location Unknown

Dear Starving,

Actually, I hear the astrologers might be looking for work.

“Really? You can’t predict that if we enslave the Jews, we’re going to be hit by ten plagues? Can you predict that I’m going to fire you?”

Maybe you should take out an ad:

“SLAVES WANTED: Powerful nation seeks several “can do” individuals for intense manual labor, including busy work, heavy lifting, cleaning, and filing tax returns. Some experience preferred. No salary, so must be able to obtain college credit. Must have own cement.

But I wouldn’t suggest running this ad in The Jewish Press.

Got a question for “You’re Asking Me?” No? Well, maybe you’ll find it while Pesach cleaning.

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Dear Mordechai,

Someone gave me a gift that I don’t like. But I don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do?

You Shouldn’t Have

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/busy-work/2013/03/08/

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