Us: Today we have in our office Moses, who happens to be visiting the city.
Moses: I’m not visiting the city; I’m visiting Kaplan, the podiatrist. You know, forty years of walking on hot desert sand does a job on your footsies.
Us: Well, thank you for taking time out to come here and answer some perplexing questions about the Exodus, Moses.
Moses: Call me Moish. I got to say it’s a pleasure to be here—to meet somebody new. Forty years wandering around with the same bunch . . . You know, we Israelites had no words for “hello” and “goodbye.”
Us: Why’s that?
Moses: Because nobody ever left and nobody new ever showed up. Forty years crossing the desert and we didn’t even meet Lawrence of Arabia. All we did was to go from oasis to oasis—and let me tell you it wasn’t easy-peasy trying to find an oasis without GPS.
Us: But surely it had to be pleasant being at an oasis.
Moses: Yeah, for maybe a week or two. But it soon gets old sitting around eating dates and figs, figs and dates.
Us: You must have been aggrieved at your fate.
Moses: Not “aggrieved”—“Argive.”
Moses: Yeah, we were like those Greek guys in that book—The Iliad. But they only waited ten years before they got where they were going. And they had fights to kill time. And wood to build stuff.
Us: To move on: could you tell us about the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea.
Moses: That was no miracle. It took two years of installing pumps. It was no miracle—it was engineering! I’ll tell you what was a miracle.
Us: What was that?
Moses: Me climbing up Mount Sinai after a day of walking across the desert. That was a miracle! And I had to shlepp those tablets back down. Today, God would just send an email.
Us: One last question: is it true that Pharaoh’s daughter discovered you as a baby in the bulrushes?
Moses: I can’t answer that. For one, I was so small I remember nothing about it. And for two, I don’t know what the hell bulrushes are.
Us: Thank you for dropping by, Moses . . .
Us: Right. Moish. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Moses: Yeah. Can you get me a piece pumpernickel? Forty years of matzoh—enough already!