As we all know, we live in a Christian-dominated society. Christianity is the leviathan corporation that refuses to acknowledge there are other games in town. Sort of like Comcast and cable.
Look around during Easter and Christmas. You’ll see everything decked out in red and white, bunnies and Cadbury eggs. It’s all around, suffocating you in the forced glee of the holiday season, all with the subtle reminder in the background that this is Jesus Land and, as a non-Christian, you’re going to burn in Hell. But hey, enjoy the candy canes and creme eggs while you’re here!
But never fear, dear reader, I know your pain. I’ve lived in The South for a good proportion of my life, and I know the existential, gut-wrenching chaos and yearning for the abyss that it inspires. On the flip side, I know that there are good places in the world, filled with good people who have the ability to read, and don’t fry every ounce of food that goes into their drooling, gaping maws. And thus, I know there is goodness in the world, and how to combat the bad.
And, while I’d like nothing more than to write a guide about how to celebrate Ramadan, the Hajj, Diwali, the Vernal Equinox, or the Bacchnalia in your office, but short of sacrifices and traveling to the desert, I know nothing about any of them. What I do know, though, is Judaism. And thus, in honor of the rapidly-approaching onset of Pesach, I present you with a handy how-to guide on how to celebrate holidays in an office environment.
For your added enjoyment, please read this in the voice of Troy McClure:
Part 1: Pesach
Pesach is one of the best celebrations in Judaism. We get to have a huge meal, hide a big cracker and make kids look for it, and get sloppy drunk with the entire family.
The story behind Pesach, or Passover, if you don’t know, is that once, a while ago, the Jews were in Egypt. The Pharaoh (a guy kind of like Mubarak) was all up on us, enslaving us and shit. Made us build monuments. Not cool. So what did we do? One of us, a guy named Moishe, turned a stick into a snake.
God was so blown away by that that He pointed at Moishe and said, “You are a stone-cold badass. In honor of your status, I shall totally wreck Egypt’s shit. But dude, you’d better hole up in your homes till I give you the all-clear, cause otherwise, you’re going to get rocked.”
Moishe heard HaShem and understood. He went to tell his people, but could not, as he had a speech impediment brought on by getting dropped by an Egyptian foreman in a tavern one night.
Soon after that, God rained down a bunch of weird shit, like crickets and toads or something, and the Egyptians thought they’d all dropped acid. But it got weirder, cause HaShem turned the fuckin Nile into blood, man. No one could drink, cause you can’t drink blood unless you’re Dracula or some shit. Fuck that.
After turning off the lights for a while, God told Moishe that he’d go around eighty-sixing the first born of every Egyptian. His brother, Aharon, told the people Israel to cover their door frames in the blood of a lamb, so that HaShem would pass over their houses in the night and not kill their kids.
That night, Adonai came down and took the lives of every first born, cause that’s how He rolls when you mess with His Chosen. But Israel was spared, and the next day, Mubarak–sorry, Pharaoh–let them leave the kingdom.
On the way out, the Jews may not have ransacked the joint. Jury’s still out on that one.
As the people Israel were at the banks of the Red Sea, Pharaoh looked out at his unfinished monuments and said, “Balls to this,” took his army, and chased after Israel.
Faced with the force of the Egyptian army, Moishe and God parted the Red Sea, the Jews walked to the Arabic Peninsula, and the Egyptians were drowned. There was great rejoicing.
And so now we all sit down at the start of the festival and have a meal consisting of foods that symbolize everything from mortar to tears. Also, there’s been casserole at every Seder I’ve attended. Don’t know why.
So what can you do, beleaguered office worker? What can you do in the face of dioramas featuring a bloodied cross on a hill surrounded by praying angels?
Well, I suggest taking a page from your ancient ancestors and getting a big bucket of lambs’ blood. What more could you do to remember the reason for the season: Not getting smote by your Lord.
After getting the lambs’ blood, paint all of the door frames in your vicinity. If your coworkers protest, as they probably will, remind them that you’re simply acknowledging a religious celebration, and any attempt to dissuade you from doing so will be met with a hefty lawsuit with the backing of the Anti-Defamation League.
That’ll show the WASPs that your insane display of religious affiliation is right the hell on par with theirs.
Part 2: Purim
Purim’s one of the “We Didn’t Get Wiped Out” holidays around which Judaism bases so much of its calendar.
The (almost obscenely abbreviated and not nearly as ridiculous summary of the) story goes like this: A woman named Esther was married to the King of Persia, who had an adviser named Haman. Setting the tone for anti-Semite government officials through history, Haman sets to work trying to eliminate the Jews from the kingdom after Esther’s uncle, Mordechai does not bow to him.
Mordechai alerts Esther to the plot, the King learns that Mordechai was instrumental in saving his life, throws a parade, and gets the whole gang together. Esther tells the King about the plot, and the King decrees that Haman be impaled. However, due to bureaucratic shenanigans, Haman’s plot continues and the Jews are still set to die. The King, unable to intercede, allows the Jews to defend themselves, and, boy, do they ever!
Not only do they stop the murder of themselves and everyone they love, but they kill seventy-five thousand Persians! Take that, Haman’s impaled corpse!
Nowadays, though, we Jews are just a bit more chilled out. Our celebration of the holiday can be
equated to a mixture of St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras. See, there are three commandments for Purim:
- To hear a recitation of the Megillah (The Book of Esther).
- To donate to three charities.
- To get so drunk one cannot tell one person from the next.
And so, naturally, we see where the office-bound Jew is in a bind. On the one hand, we are commanded by God Himself to get incredibly drunk on this holiday; on the other hand, we have The Man holding us down, telling us that we can’t get blackout drunk in the office.
Well, my friends, all you have to do is tell that boss of yours the story of Pesach. Tell that boss about how our God isn’t one who is all lovey-dovey towards His favored creation. No, our God routinely commits genocide in the Torah, and he doesn’t take shit from people flaunting His commandments.
Lean forward on your boss’s desk and say in a serious voice, “Do you want your first born to die?”
Assuming your boss hasn’t fired you, he or she will surely not want to die, and thus you are free to drink a liquor of your choice in celebration. I suggest a kosher whiskey like Glenlivet. And yes, that’s kosher. And yes, I am part of a religion that encourages adherents to get shithouse drunk as part of a holiday.
In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of kosher liquors and beers.
And, in case you’re wondering what happens when Jews get drunk, here’s rare video footage:
Part 3: Hannukah
Everything that can be said about Hannukah has been said by:
Or Wayne Gladstone’s Cracked article about the holiday.
I think that more than fulfills my obligation to describe what went on to warrant a festival of lights/guerrilla warfare.
So, how does one enterprising and jovial office worker celebrate Jewish heritage when it comes to Hanukkah?
Well, first, remember that there is no way you can beat Christmas. As you probably know, Hanukkah and Christmas show up at around the same point during the calendar year. And as we mentioned way back in the Introduction, Christianity is a megalith when it comes to culture, so you won’t even make an impression in most people’s eyes unless you do something like this:
And even then, people will probably wonder why the White House has a big candle holder in its front lawn, and why it’s not lit, and why it’s so close to the Christmas Tree.
So you’ve got a few handy options:
- Get drunk at the office. Insist this is part of the Hanukkah celebration. No one will dare to challenge you on this for fear of a lawsuit, and if there are any other Jews in your office, they’ll probably join in and you’ll have a drinking buddy.
- Light a menorah at your desk. When people complain about there being an open fire on your desk, glare at them, twitch your upper lip, and mutter “I smell a lawsuit coming.”
- Finally, get a big pot of oil and keep it burning for eight days. In my opinion, this would be the most authentic way of celebrating the festival, and it would automatically promote you to the position of Pope of the Jews. *
*NOTE: There is no such position.
Part 4: Yom Kippur
What are you doing in the office? This is Yom Kippur, damn it. Get to the synagogue.
You’re a terrible Jew.