May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A Whole New Class of Afikoman Presents

One of the best things about the Jewish people is that we keep innovating new ways—especially around the Yomim Tovim—to make our lives easier and to maybe make a few dollars, because Yom Tov is expensive.

Last year, I wrote an article about Pesach products that actually exist and make Pesach 100% easier, such as muktzah Haggadahs, 8,000 random products featuring grinning frogs and special Urchatz towels that make a point of not saying Al Netillas Yadayim on them, in case you do not already have any towels in your home that don’t say Al Netillas Yadayim.

And don’t even get me started on food products. If you think we have it hard nowadays, you can buy pre-made salt water. Just like Bubby used to buy! There’s no telling how many valuable seconds this will save you on Erev Pesach that you can be using to try to figure out how on earth you’re supposed to roast a single chicken wing with no barbecue. Because really, how hard is it to make salt water?

Unless the people in charge of food prep in your house are the type who proudly leave salt out of their foods. “Better under-salted than over-salted” they say, as you add salt to your personal piece of karpas. I don’t know, maybe they’ve figured out the exact right proportions. Maybe someone passed down a secret family recipe for salt water. (“The secret is that we use seltzer!”) Or maybe you primarily just need a container in your house that says “salt water” on it.

My family definitely could have used one last year. We dipped our karpas, and we were all commenting that there was not nearly enough salt in the water, and my wife was confused too, and she kept insisting that she’d put a lot of salt in this time. Anyway, what my wife figured out—the second night—was that whoever had taken it out of the fridge the first night had mixed it up with the coconut water. Which was not at all salty, as you can imagine. (My wife makes things out of fresh coconut every year and saves the water so we can run into it several times over the course of yom tov and throw it out come Shavuos.) So what I’m saying is, maybe your family has a use for a distinct container that says “salt water” on it, that they can reuse from year to year. Point is, no matter how silly the idea, there might be a use for it.

But what if there are more things that might be useful that don’t exist yet?

So I reached out to my readers, and a lot of them wrote in.

For example, S. Benfield suggests they sell salinity kits to test the salt level of your salt water and make sure it’s not coconut.

Someone named Mike suggests matzah in the shape of Romaine lettuce leaves. How many bites do you take of your korech sandwiches that are just two pieces of matzah pressed together, while everything is cracking everywhere and your lettuce is dropping out the back of the sandwich? Anyway, I don’t know if this is possible with hand matzah, but the machine matzah people can definitely get on it.

And here’s an idea: Coconut salt water. Also other designer salt waters, such as Sea-Salt Water, Kosher-Salt Water, Pink-Himalayan-Salt Water, and, in honor of its anniversary, Yam-Hamelach Water, in which whatever you drop in just floats to the top. No more losing pieces of your egg!

We also need pre-roasted zeroah, so you don’t have to set off the smoke detectors and have your second conversation with the fire department for the day. Or maybe they should make some kind of kit that you set up over a burner where there’s a spit that goes through the wing and a tiny crank that you turn for an hour. I’m good either way. I have plenty of time, because my wife prepares the salt water.

Also, this isn’t food, but we need a better mouthwash. Why does kosher l’Pesach mouthwash have to look so much like kosher l’Pesach dish soap? And the dish soap tastes better! Probably because it has less soap in it.

It would also be amazing to have some kind of sink-lining tape that is actually waterproof. Meaning that it can stand up to at least one dishwashing session. I would also use this tape for sukkah decorations.

And speaking of lining your kitchen, Cholentface (this is his professional name) suggests some kind of safer tool for maybe minimizing the mesiras nefesh required—the week before Pesach—for blindly sticking a razor blade through two layers of tin foil into an electric outlet while standing in a puddle.

We also definitely need Pesach decorations. Every other Yom Tov has decorations. Purim has clowns, Shavuos has flowers, Sukkos has… chains, for some reason; but for Pesach, we do all that work, and the decorations are miles of foil and signs that say “chometz.”

“No, silly. The clean walls are the decoration!”

I also think someone should sell dedicated Pesach yarmulkes so we can take hot things out of the oven. Not that I have separate yarmulkes for milchig and fleishig. I think my yarmulke is treif.

And there’s no shortage of ideas that we can use for the Seder. For example, what about an afikoman bag with an alarm sewn in that goes off 20 minutes before chatzos? This would be a great negotiating loophole for parents, though it would probably work for about one year until the kids figure out that they have to hide the bag in a separate location. Or outside. Or—if they want to turn the negotiations up to eleven—in the baby’s room. But it will definitely work for you if you can’t find the bag itself before Pesach.

While we’re at it, let’s put a tracker on kittels, so you can tell if your kittel has been living at the dry cleaner since Yom Kippur. You’ll get a phone call.

Another great idea would be to develop some kind of clip-on armrests for chairs so that people who aren’t already sitting in armchairs can lean without doing that thing where they awkwardly keep the upper half of their body rigid at a 45-degree angle while actually tensing their bodies and shifting their center of balance to the right so that it looks like they’re leaning but also grimacing. That is definitely less cheirus than just sitting.

If anyone has any other ideas of Pesach products that are desperately needed, feel free to write in. If we all put our heads together, maybe some people can get on this. People who know how to create things, I mean. I have no idea. My specialty is more in the realm of vague thoughts that do not entirely take physics into account.


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He has also published eight books and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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