16

Purim is pretty clearly the wackiest day of the Jewish calendar, and of course the preferred main course for the festive meal is Wacky Mac. Now, as we all know Wacky Mac has four different components: wheels, shells, spirals, and tubes.

"Wacky Mac Macaroni + Cheese Dinner!" box

What is the correct order of precedence to give these shapes at my meal? Which do I say the blessing on? Which do I save for last? Must I have a Shiur of each? All four shapes are clearly elements of the Mitzva, but I don't know the best consumption strategy to fulfill all relevant Halakhot and Minhagim.


This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 14 '17 at 21:58

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  • 4
    are you also asking about how each of the 4 represents a type of Jew? – rosends Mar 2 '17 at 14:20
  • 2
    @Danno Only to the extent that that indicates correct dining practices, which shouldn't be too unreasonable to show. There are lots of promising avenues towards quality answers here IMO. – Double AA Mar 2 '17 at 14:21
  • OK. So far, I have merkava, shofar and klipot. Still working. – rosends Mar 2 '17 at 14:43
  • While the Shulchan Arukh and the ReMA are in agreement that Wacky Mac should be eaten at the Purim Seudah, some of the later achronim actually hold that the preferable way of fulfilling the mitzvah of mac and cheese on Purim is with Foulds Mac and Cheese. R' Moshe Feinstein held this way and this is the minhag in the United States. The reason for this is exactly what you mentioned in your question: Wacky Mac is perfect for Purim so we go with the boring shapes of Foulds in the spirit of v'nahafoch hu. – Daniel Mar 6 '17 at 13:01
19

Following the order of the last Mishna in Kinim (1) (3:6), we have the order and the shiur.

שתי קרניו, שתי חצוצרות; שני שוקיו, שני חלילין; עורו לתוף, ומעיו לנבלים, ובני מעיו לכינורות

  1. "Its two horns" ---> Spiral, and the shiur is two spirals.

  2. "its two thigh bones" ---> Tubes, the shiur is also two tubes.

  3. "its skin" ---> Shell, the shiur is one shell.

  4. "its intestines" ---> wheels (old bicycle tires), the shiur is two wheels (the minimum plural is two).

The shiurin cannot join together.

The first Blessing is not Bore nefashot Rabbot as Rabbi Tarfon was thinking, because the Mishna says,

כשהוא חי, קולו אחד

When he is alive, his voice is one, (not "Rabbot" multiple.)

The after blessing is the same as the Seven Species (Meen Shalosh) because the mishna says:

וכשהוא מת, קולו שבעה

When he is dead (eaten) his voice is seven.

But the main lesson of the mishna is:

The Seudat Purim is to remember Matan Tora "keemu vekiblu", as the end of the mishna says:

‏ אבל זקני תורה אינן כן--אלא כל זמן שהן מזקינין--דעתן מתיישבת עליהן, שנאמר "בישישים חכמה; ואורך ימים, תבונה" (איוב יב,יב). ‏

Zikne Tora!


(1)

Rabbi Yehoshua says:, This is [similar] to what is said, when it[a ram] is alive it has one voice, but once it's dead it has seven. How does it have seven? Its two horns can become two trumpets, its two thighs would become two flutes, its hide can become a drum, its stomach can become parts of lyres, its innards for harp strings, and some say its wool can be used for Tekhelet [blue-dyed wool used for tzitit and priesty garments]. Rabbi Shimon son of Akashia said: Unlearned elderly men as they get older their mind gets more confused as it says (Job 12:20), "He removes the speech of the capable and takes away the reasoning of the elders." But the elders of Torah are not that way, rather as they get older their mind becomes more settled as it says (Job 12:12) "In the aged is wisdom and in lengthy days understanding."

26

Wacky Mac, like the lulav, has four distinct components that must all be present in order to fulfill the mitzvah. According to the kabbalists, these four shapes can be compared to four types of Jews:

  • The wheel has no beginning or end, and it can move through the world; it represents a person with wisdom (there is no end to learning) and good deeds (action in the world).

  • The tube is straight and narrow; it represents a person with good deeds (following the straight path, the halacha) but without wisdom (he is focused and does not explore beyond the bounds of the tube).

  • The shell can hold much but goes nowhere; it represents a person with wisdom (that he has retained) but without good deeds (he's not doing anything with it).

  • The spiral is crazy and undirected and retains nothing, aside from whatever bits of cheesy goo cling desperately to it but the spiral gets no credit for that. It represents a person with neither wisdom nor good deeds.

The mitzvah of Wacky Mac reminds us that Yisrael is made up of all of these types; we cannot concern ourselves only with the wheels or dismiss the spirals out of hand. We need to bring them all together. And thus, to fulfill the mitzvah, you must have in your spoon an equal positive number of each. One of each is sufficient, but those with big mouths are encouraged to increase the number.

Once you have lifted up this first spoonful, said the b'racha, and eaten, you may eat the rest in any combination so long as you eat at least a shiur within four minutes, like with matzah.

What is the b'racha? Some say 'al netilat rotev g'vinah, because as with the lulav we are focusing on the combination of distinct elements coming together, but others say 'al achilat rotev g'vinah because, as with Pesach, we are after all eating the special food. Some try to satisfy both opinions by having Wacky Mac with more than one Purim meal, or by having it twice within the same meal but as separate courses (rinsing their mouths out between), but I'm not aware of an authoritative p'sak.

  • 1
    Why 'al netilat rotev g'vinah and not 'al akhilat rotev g'vinah? – Double AA Mar 2 '17 at 18:57
  • 1
    @DoubleAA good question! Rashi asks your question too; see my edit. – Monica Cellio Mar 2 '17 at 19:08
11

TLDR: first eat the spirals, then the shells, then the wheels, then the tubes.


The Mishna in Zevachim (10:2) tells us

כל המקודש מחברו, קודם את חברו.‏
That which is holier than its friend, precedes its friend.

So we see that the wheels, which have 7 holes, precede the tubes, which have but 1 hole.

And we know the Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 2:7) lists the only thing more holy than wheels (אופנים) to be the living (חיות), so the shells (which are parts of animals) would precede the wheels.

The spiral shape fulfills the classic definition of a Chayah's horns (Shulchan Arukh YD 80:1) that they be wound, round and grooved, so it too must precede the wheel. But how do we know if that is higher or lower than the shell-bearing mollusk which is also alive? The answer is in the previous Mishna in Zevachim:

כל התדיר מחברו, קודם את חברו.‏
that which is too deer for its friend, precedes its friend.

7

This seems to be like the four sons of the hagaddah.

חכם - This would be the spiral. He studies and learns and builds himself up. Everything that he does is designed to make himself better. שבעה נפל צדיק וקם Whenever he makes a misteak [sic], he gets up and keeps going at a higher level.

רשע - This would be the wheel. He refuses to learn and change and he insists on continuing the way he has been.

תם - This would be the tube. He is not really paying attention and is just going on in the direction that he happens to be. He does continue as long as he is not stopped, but does not really know how to handle difficulties. He wants to progress, but does not know exactly how to develop.

שאינו יודע לשאול - This would be the shells. He does not know what to do or how to progress. He is wrapped in his life and just stays the way he is. He accepts life the way it is. That is why the hagadah shows him as a baby.

Now that we have made the connection to the hagaddah, we see from the order that they are brought in the haaggadah, what the order of eating would be. Spiral, wheel, tube, shell.

We can also make a connection to the ארבעה מנים of succot. Just as we take them all together for the main מצוה we need to take them in the proper order, put them all on the same spoon, and eat all for together.

Another connection is to the ארבעה מינים (four heretics) of succot. We see that just as we should destroy מינים, we should consume all four completely.

3

It's pretty easy, guys. The four wacky shapes represent the four mitzvos of Purim: wearing a costume, getting drunk, attending a Purim party, and eating a festive meal, ideally of Wacky Mac.

Wearing a costume -- The spiral looks like a tail-which was Vashti's costume-as well as all wacky elements in costumes. Hence we eat the spiral in commemoration of this mitzvah and make a malbish arumim

Attending a Purim party -- "Shell" and "party" both come from the Loshon HaKodesh root "--צד", therefore we eat the shells to symbolize the party. You should make either Shehechyanu or משמח ציון בבניה.

Getting drunk -- The tube is a reference to the extra-wide straw which it is said Ahasuerus used to get very, very drunk at the original Purim party. We use one too. There is therefore a machlokes tana'im about whether we should make the bracha "hagefen" on this piece of Wacky Mac, or whether on the other hand it is no longer wine because it is used with a straw.

Festive Meal -- You are already eating the festive meal. You should have made a HaMotzi on all the Wacky Mac.

  • What about the wheel shape? – Double AA Mar 6 '17 at 14:30
  • @DoubleAA Obviously it is a model of a pull-apart challah; note six sections. It represents HaMotzi. Chazar hadin – SAH Mar 6 '17 at 14:37
  • 2
    Important info should be edited into the post not left in a comment – Double AA Mar 6 '17 at 14:38

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