Monday, August 27, 2007

Our Father Who Art in Eggplant

What are the odds of finding the seeds of an eggplant spelling out the word “God”?

If you are Felicia Teske of Pennsylvania they are damn good. While slicing an eggplant for her family’s dinner, Felicia discovered just that. Not to be deterred, she actually fed the holy plant to her family, saving only a single slice to auction off on eBay.

Clearly Ms. Teske is not Jewish. I would have taken the plant to my local deli, asked them to slice it into as thin a pile of God–inscribed eggplant as they could, and sell them one at a time on eBay.

The more I thought about this, and I admit to thinking about it way too much, the more I wondered why, given all the foods I eat, the Creator never gifts me with such a revelation. Then again, He might be writing messages to me all the time and I never look. I rarely prepare my own meals, and I eat them in such a hurry that even if God wrote “Rami, You are the Messiah” by the time I would notice any letters all I would have left would be “iah” at best. “Iah,” by the way, fetches nothing on eBay; I checked.

So I have decided to change my ways. No, I’m not going to cook for myself or slow down when I eat; I’m going to go to the supermarket and start slicing eggplant to see what’s inside.

I spent a couple of hours doing this at my local Kroger store this afternoon and discovered three exclamation points, fourteen ellipses (…), a Big Dipper, and half a dozen or so “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” But no “God.”

I sought council from a rabbi friend. “What good would the word ‘God’ do you anyway?” he said. “You need Hebrew words like Adonai or HaShem. God assumes you remember a bit of Hebrew and talks to you in His native tongue.”

Of course! I was looking for English when I should have been looking for Hebrew or Aramaic. In fact the seeds of a couple of eggplants looked a bit like Uggaritic’s arrow shaped script; maybe I intercepted messages meant for Canaanites.

Actually this troubles me. Not mail to Canaanites, I think we killed all of them years ago, but intercepting divine messages meant for other people. I imagine that God is very busy and has limited time for writing with vegetable seeds, so it isn’t as if He sends out divine bulk mail. If I cut open an eggplant with a message of hope meant, say, for a women dying of cancer, I would feel horrible. In fact I did come across some seeds that seemed to spell out, “Margaret it’s Me, God. I’m here,” but I thought nothing of it.

So I am not going back to the supermarket to read other people’s veggie mail anymore. God, if Your are reading this blog and You want to send me a message, You are going to have to carve it in a rice cake. Hey I just bought a bag, let me go look….


Matthew said...

When my parents found a cantaloupe, that, when opened, bore an uncanny resemblance to the human, they didn't take it as a message from God(dess) nor did they put on eBay.

I think society would have been better served, perhaps, if they'd done both.

Aaron said...

I found a message spelled out in the faux marbling on the filter of one of my cigarettes. It said, "Aaron, Quit Smoking," but it wasn't signed. I figured it was from the Truth people, and we all know they're funded by Big Tobacco, so I guess it was just one of those postmodern anti-ads.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro said...

Matthew, I agree. Let's start a movement called Cantaloupe's for Christ.

Aaron, I wrote that message in the filter of your cigarette. Quit smoking. Quit smoking now.