Come to think of it, it did look like a boomerang, that coiled fish cake.
Each year for Purim, my mother would create over-the-top Shalach Manos when I was younger. She bought a pan that was in the shape of a fish and she baked cake after cake after cake. Then, the night of Purim was dedicated to frosting the many cakes, adding the chocolate lentil eye and the licorice mouth. Finally, Purim day would dawn, and the fish would be placed around a bottle and off it would be sent to some lucky recipient.
How many of you do this and will never admit to it – re-gifting things, repackaging Shalach Manos and resending?
One Purim, it was a Friday and there was scant time to do all the deliveries and eat the meal, our family spent the day running about town, quickly depositing fish cakes right and left, leaving them on doorsteps when families weren’t home. It was late, very late, when we arrived home for our meal, and there, sitting on our doorstep was our own dear fish cake, passed back to us by someone clueless that my mother had baked it. We had a good laugh at that…and we had a good dessert too.
We are told the story (in Bava Kama) of a Tanna who was walking along and saw a man clearing his field of rocks. The man would take the rocks out of the ground and then hurtle them over his low wall right into the pathway of the public road. Said the Tanna, “stop clearing someone else’s land and blocking up your land.” The man decided the Tanna was deranged, switching up what belonged to whom. After all, he was clearing HIS land and putting the rocks into the public domain. Years went by and this man sold his field. One day, walking past his old field he tripped and banged himself on some rocks thrown carelessly on the pathway. He rubbed his foot, hopping up and down, cursing whoever put the rocks there. And then he remembered – it was he who had thrown the rocks there many years ago. He now recalled the words of the sage and realized how true it had been. He truly had cleared out the field that belonged to someone else and put a stumbling block in his own merry way.
So, my friend, if life boomerangs things back at us, don’t you think we ought to focus on handing out cakes and sweets, rather than hurtling stones?