web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Wrapped

Twenties-041913

I didn’t need that much garlic. After all… how much garlic, exactly, could I put into the chicken without overdoing it?

But something made me leave the white, rounded head on the counter after cracking off a few bulbs, rather than putting it back in the fridge. Maybe I’d need more.

Of the three small cloves sitting there on the counter, it was naturally the plumpest that came to my hand first. It looked… so…Perfect. Delicious. Appealing.

I picked it up and almost subconsciously savored the subtle satisfaction that slid through me. There was a certain pleasure in holding the small, papery package. Bulging its rounded figure in the center, curving neatly to tapered ends. It felt so full. So complete, despite its smallness. So perfect.

The pleasure almost peaked with anticipation before I even broke the skin. Holding it carefully in my left hand, my right thumbnail slid under the skin of the delicate tail, deftly snapped it back, and- pop! It was open.

The perfection of that small action rippled through me in a wonder that will never cease. All you have to do is snap it and- perfect! It pops open magically, revealing the splendor of soft creamy flesh hidden within. The glossy meat peeped out, exciting me to reveal it all the way. Grasping the torn peel, I pulled sharply but carefully. A neat strip peeled away. Then another, then another, and then- that moment of magic when the whole wraparound garment slipped away with a beautiful feathery crack. And there, in all its glory, sat my clove of garlic. Incredibly, enticingly plump, a healthy shine that pulled my eyes like magnets, drawing them up to that artistically perfect slender end. Here I am, it seemed to say. You unsheathed me, and now I sit in all my shining glory. You can stand and stare forever. And I could. But it was not the glory of the thing itself that held me now. It was the snap! of a moment ago, making my fingers reach out for another clove, needing, wanting, to open it. I broke off the most enticingly plump clove and held it in my hand. The feathery heaviness bulged appealingly, hinting at luscious treasure within. Desire led my fingers to firmly grasp the tail, slide my nail in, a sharp twist, and- crack! And puuuulll… and there we go, the skin slid down smoothly to once again reveal the shine hidden within.

A pocket.

No, a package.

Little Garlic, how did you come to be so beautifully protected?

The only word that filled my mind was… perfect. The layers of paper, molded to its graceful curves. The outer shell, harder and firmer protection. And… and most of all, most of all, made perfect for me.

Wrapped perfectly for me, so that all I’d have to do is slide my thumbnail into that giftwrap, break the skin, twist, and the treasure was revealed.

Why do You wrap Your gifts for me, this way? Why?

I was tired, and not inclined to think of answers. But what filled my mind, as I reached for another clove-

My little sister, peeling a clove for the first time. Look Mommy, she says in wonder, it’s a package, perfectly wrapped, and it pops out perfectly when I open it!

And all that fills my mind, as I crack off cloves, and hold, and feel, and twist, and snap, and peel-

You wrap each one so carefully. So perfectly, so perfectly. The perfection is almost unbearable in its wonder. It shouts out to me, in a peaceful, flowing sort of way, that fills me up and keeps on flowing and will not stop. And I shout back, in a silent, peaceful, continuous way, because I cannot not-

Why, Tatty, why?

And I keep on breaking off cloves, even while knowing that I have way more garlic then I could possibly need. My hand keeps reaching, all by itself, unable to resist the lure of the snap and twist and strip and…

Treasure revealed.

So easy. Actually, I find that if you slice off the other end of the clove first, it pops open with even more magical ease. This has its own joy. But after reveling in that pleasure once or twice, I return to slitting and cracking with my thumb. The knife is simply… artificial. If man had no knife, he would still be able to pop open the beautiful garlic-gift. I want to experience (it) in its most basic, God-given form; to touch the gift with my fingers, as it was meant to be touched.

For then I touch the gift, not of the bounty within, but of the Wrapper. I can almost see the formless smile, shining down with fatherly pleasure at the child ripping joyously through the wrapping paper.

Why, Tatty, why?

But even as my mind is wondering, I am reaching, and holding plumpness in my palm, and sliding my nail- no artificial implement- and bursting out the bounty, fresh and lovely-

And in that movement, I feel a caress- A soft, airy blanket, thrown over me, that you can barely see, but you can feel, and know; a coverlet of care, gently spread over me, warming my heart without my mind needing to fully understand.

Smiling inside warmed by the formless smile spreading over me as I twist and pop. Not for the gift, but for the gift of the giftwrap.

I don’t see Tatty’s face, and I don’t even look up, and I don’t even say anything in return.

But I keep on peeling garlic, clove after clove, until there is no more left to peel.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Wrapped”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Sections Stories
Grieff-070315

In the face of evil, we can do acts of kindness. We can do good deeds.

Teens-Twenties-logo

I realized that I am an integral part of that man who wished to win – I am also a part of a nation; I felt like I was standing there and shouting, “I won.”

Teens-Twenties-logo

As I powerfully belted out the song, Ani Maamin B’emunah Sheleima – which means “I believe in God with full faith” – a thought suddenly crossed my mind.

Ganz-View-From-Window-logo

I do not suggest abandoning civilization for a pristine desert island or a hilltop in Judea or Samaria.

After diamonds were discovered in South Africa in the mid-1800s, Antwerp regained its prominence as the diamond capital of the world.

Search the Internet for innovative barbeque items and you might just be surprised at what you come across.

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

You’re not seeking perfection. You’re seeking a life that an average person can manage and feel good about. Don’t feel pressure to change everything at once.

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

In Culture Shock, readers will also come to identify with a culture from the other end of Orthodox Jewry’s spectrum.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Our Sages have told us exactly how we should act – and how our children should act – in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers.

A second supposed difficulty actually becomes a reason to corroborate that Amestris is Esther.

I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.

More Articles from Rayzel Reich
Twenties-010915

This past Friday it was finally almost official. It was going to happen. Be’ezras Hashem.

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

We had just moved to Boro Park, fresh from the DP camps. The community was new and small, but we were settling in nicely. I knew how fortunate I was to have almost my whole family survive; most had so much less. Our family was a draw for many who needed that familiar feeling of home. One Shabbos afternoon I answered the door to find one such friend and a couple I did not recognize.

I didn’t need that much garlic. After all… how much garlic, exactly, could I put into the chicken without overdoing it?

But something made me leave the white, rounded head on the counter after cracking off a few bulbs, rather than putting it back in the fridge. Maybe I’d need more.

I stare, and I stare, trying to connect to those deep, seeing, eyes, to the wisdom and depth within that face. And all I can think, murmurs sliding in a circle through my mind – is, hadras panim… hadras panim… hadras panim…

“…will the kid say, ‘Oh, I’m walking into the strange house, just like Goldilocks?! Maybe the kid will think..”

Apparently I had walked into a family discussion of the pros and cons of reading fairy tales to children.

It was Moishele, and Itche, and me. We did everything together. We even made our own language, which only we understood. In shul they jokingly called us “the troika,” after the three bishops whose authority extended across Poland.

Miss Ida is our beloved teacher. Her brown hair is piled softly on her head. Her dress is of course old and worn, and she must not be very young, but to us, she is beautiful. She is not religious, but she is always kind, and she is always fair. We sit in class, all […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/wrapped/2013/04/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: