July 21, 2024
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July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As a nation, we’re great at coming up with products that should exist and then selling them, especially when it comes to the yomim tovim. For example, last year, I wrote an article about actual helpful Chanukah products that exist, such as Chanukiah-shaped cookie cutters, the “My First Chanukah” coffee mug, dreidels filled with nosh, dreidel-shaped ice cubes, Chanukah-print napkins, Chanukah-print juggling balls and Chanukah-print stress balls, for when people are using the Chanukah-print juggling balls near the candles.

There’s even such a thing as pre-made cups of oil, so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of pouring oil into a cup, like some kind of caveman. You just put out a cup of hard oil that looks like the top of the chicken soup when you take it out of the fridge, and you’re done, and you can spend all the extra time you saved waiting around until it’s time to light candles. They’re also great for recipes. I’m actually not sure why they don’t sell pre-made cups of kiddush and havdallah, where you just take it out of the fridge and drink through the layer of fat. But this is very convenient when it comes to Chanukah, mostly because we buy oil by the jug, and we can’t pour it into a tiny cup without filling the living room knee deep in oil.

But there’s room for improvement. For example, why are Chanukah-themed napkins the least absorbent napkins? And that’s all they have at the party. How are we supposed to sop oil out of our food?

So last year, I reached out to readers with my greasy, oily hands and asked them to write in with ideas for more Chanukah products that don’t exist but that we need. Not that we don’t need Chanukah-print stress balls, especially at family get-togethers.

“Is there anything here that I could eat without keeling over?”

“Yeah, I brought Greek salad.”

“Oh. Are we allowed to eat that?”

“I don’t know. It has olives…”

Many readers wrote in with great responses, which I’m printing here as a gift to you. If you don’t hold on gifts, please send me money.

We’ve also included a first step for each of these ideas to get them off the ground.

– One reader, J.S.S., writes that we need a self-flipping latke pan. How safe would that be? You’d have to be out of the room when you’re using it. Though I’m still all for it, because what I really need is something to help me flip omelets, seeing as I have never once done so without the omelets falling apart. Whenever I try flipping them, I make the egg and the ceiling treif.

To start: Maybe some kind of eject button on the handle, like in military jets.

– C.C. suggested colored kids’ candles that don’t break so easily. Because there are exactly 44 candles in a box, which is exactly how many candles one person needs, assuming none of them are broken. Are we supposed to just melt them back into one piece? Do I have to buy an entire second box because at least one candle in each box will be cracked? Also, kids are handling them.

To start: Something like Liquid Skin. In multiple skin tones, such as purple.

– N.G. writes that we need some invention to get yesterday’s used wicks out of those little metal tubes.

“My wife keeps getting mad at me for getting the family tweezers all oily,” he says.

I just usually stick one end of the tube in my mouth and blow, and worry about the far side of the room later.

To start: Some sort of wet/dry vac.

– We should also have, as C.K. suggests, some sort of quake-proof hadlakah table. We always have to get as far away from the candles as we can when we dance, while also being able to still see them while going around in a circle facing inward. My wife doesn’t even let the jumpier kids into the same room as the candles. So much for pirsumei nisa. Though I suppose they can see them from outside the house. Maybe that’s where we’re supposed to dance. This was much easier when we lived in a basement apartment.

Maybe we can also use this table for dreidel, so no one gets accused of cheating.

To start: Shocks, like on a car? Also, a softer niggun for Maoz Tzur.

– C.C. also thinks we should invent some kind of dreidel detector that will collect dreidels from all over the house. Dreidels just naturally roll around and under furniture and migrate around the house and down the stairs and into the laundry, and you’re finding dreidels for several months after you clean up from Chanukah. Why on earth do we have so many dreidels? Pesach cleaning’s biggest treasure is a handful of dreidels.

But there are options. A lot of toys nowadays have features so that you won’t lose them, such as lights and sounds that make noise the entire Shabbos, or when your kids walks away, and don’t stop talking until you pick them up.

To start: A little button that when you press it, the dreidel beeps, like a car in a parking lot. Or make all dreidels glow in the dark. This would also bring a fun twist to the games: Dark Dreidel.

“Hey! Who keeps swiping the pot?”

We also need some kind of locator for our latkes if we get the self-flipping latke pan. Making them glow in the dark hasn’t been enough.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].



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