Feetsies and Halupkes: A Holy Week Prayer

Maybe you can fit in a pedicure today, sweeties.
Tip your lady the cost of the whole treatment. Or bring some matzoh ball soup for the whole nail salon.
I bet they’ve never had any!

I have a chicken on the stove becoming soup right now. The aroma is warm and comforting and I am going to make my first matzoh balls to go in it tomorrow.
Also tomorrow I will be making my first stuffed cabbage! My Baba was brilliant at making it and I am attending a Seder and offered to bring it as my contribution. My Baba was VERY Russian Orthodox and feared Jews (including my father), so I think it’s a lovely reconciling gesture to bring her halupkes to a Seder. I remember when I tried to have a conversation with Baba about the fact that Jesus was Jewish. She got very flustered and upset and asked me not to try to push the subject. We held hands and I apologized. She had a troubled face and furrowed brow. She was born in Slovakia and came here under traumatic conditions at five years old, and never got more than a fourth grade education. Good Friday for her meant a narrative of how the blood-thirsty Jews killed her Lord. She did not have room in her mind to hear that the Jews didn’t have enough power in first century occupied Palestine to make a decision like that. She genuinely believed that Pontius Pilate was trying to be merciful. It hurts me that she couldn’t accept that the historical records showed him only to be the most sadistic of leaders who never once extended clemency to convicted criminals. He would never have even met small-time Jesus. “Vic, it’s too much, honey, I’m sorry,” she said.

Me too, Baba. I’m sorry, too. I’m making your halupkes tomorrow and bringing them a Passover Seder. I’m bringing you with me, too.

Back to pedicures, because some days that’s where my mind goes for a break from the enormity of my family’s frayed and braided religious intertwinings…

I know it seems super frivolous but here’s the thing. Scrubbing the dead skin off your feetsies is so good for your health. Get to them with a moist pumice if you don’t want to get a salon pedicure. Soak first, relax, dream, breathe, pray. Push back the cuticles. Clip your nails and shape them with an emery board. Scrub them with a nail brush. No polish necessary unless you feel like it. Mine are teal blue right now, but they were cheery pink in February:

2015-02-14 13.26.27

What else?

Get the bread for Communion.
Get the wine.
Drop off the whatever to the dry cleaners.
Stretch every morning and evening.
Make some strong ginger tea.
Wash your hands a LOT. Moisturize them, too, as bacteria can get into the cracks on your dry paws.
Be prepared for the Whosever May Come that you know may show up for Holy Week. God has that amazing way of sending us into each other’s arms this time of year. Make sure someone has your back when all the need hits you.

God be with you, in your voice and mind and body and spirit and soul. God be with you in your intention and clarity as those presiding over ancient rites and rituals. God be with you in your presence and your bearing and your dignity as people who unapologetically continue the ancient ways and tell the ancient stories that are so searingly relevant today. God be with you as you walk the road with Him through the agonies of Friday and the devastation of Saturday. God be with you and uplift you and your people at the proclaiming of the resurrection on Sunday.

God be with you in the great work to which this week calls us. Check in here and let’s stay close.

Kiss of peace!

4 Replies to “Feetsies and Halupkes: A Holy Week Prayer”

  1. Thank you so much for the beautiful message of peace and pedicures, it did my soul god today. It’s a busy week, and you didn’t have to write, but I am glad that you did.

  2. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to tell you that you are truly Fab-u-lous! (Maybe because you are!)
    God bless you, dear Peacebang. [Thank you, dear Alison. That means a lot to me and it’s lovely to hear it. – PB]

  3. Thank you thank you thank you. It’s good to have the tootsies taken care of. And the conversation with your Baba? Beautiful and it broke my heart, just a little bit. Thank you for all you do. And especially for reminding us that we are all in this together. Kiss of peace.

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