The Fifth Question

© 2013

The Fifth Question

My name is Jane and I am a carb-aholic.

However, this week is Passover and for a week, not even a crumb of Chametz has touched my lips.

Every year, we ask the four questions. I always add my own question “Why, this week, do we eat only unleavened bread, when any other week, we eat leavened bread?”. I do it because it is tradition, and as much as I love my carbs, it’s only a week.

At least that is what I told myself today.

Today is the 7th day of Passover, as of sundown, I have 24 hours left. If I lived in Borough Park or Monsey, this holiday would be easy. But I don’t live in either Borough Park or Monsey and that’s where will power comes in.

One of my colleagues, Erica, brought back pasta from the buffet down the street. I had to force myself to not look at her lunch. Thankfully, my phone rang.

An hour later, the garlic bread from Erica’s lunch sat next to the refrigerator, still wrapped in the plastic. I had to force myself to look away.

But I couldn’t look away; it looked so yummy and crumbly. I could already feel it on lips, going down my throat, entering my stomach, feeling satisfied. Nothing but heaven.

It was hypnotizing me, calling my name, begging to be eaten.

“Jane” it called to me. I could see the invisible eat me sign, like the cake that Alice eat in Alice in Wonderland.

I could hear the voice of my grandmother Hannah begging me not to eat it, not forgo thousands of years of tradition for one moment of temptation.

I didn’t know what to do, I was frozen. I wanted the bread, but I knew I couldn’t eat it.

“Hey Erica, do you mind if I finish your bread?” Sam asked from the other side of the room, breaking the spell it held over me.

“Go ahead; I’m still full from lunch”.

I breathed a sigh of relief, silently thanking Sam for saving me from temptation.

When I got home, I took out the spinach Tzimmis and the roast beef I got from my parents.

I had only 24 hours left, and after that, my duty was done, but only until next year.

“Why, this week, do we eat only unleavened bread, when any other week, we eat leavened bread?”.

To paraphrase Fiddler On the Roof: tradition

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