MOM: 19 LINES
DAD: 6 LINES
ELLA: 16 LINES
ETHAN: 13 LINES
GOD: 12 LINES
EVERYONE: 3 LINES
SETTING: Friday night at 5PM in the family’s home
MOM: Oh, good, Ella, you’re home!
ELLA: Ugh — today was horrible. Mr. Lippert made me read my paper in front of the entire class. And then he totally ripped it apart. He was like, “Oh, your argument is good, but you don’t have enough supporting data.” Whatever!
MOM: Not enough supporting data? I’m sorry, honey. I know how hard you worked on that paper.
ELLA: Ohmigod, what are you cooking? It smells awesome.
MOM: Thank you. It’s a vegetable lasagna. I saw the recipe on The Food Network. It’s not exactly their recipe, I ONLY used three sticks of butter.
ELLA: Well, I’ll totally have a piece for breakfast tomorrow.
MOM: What do you mean? We’re having it for dinner tonight.
ELLA: Oh, sorry. I’m going to a party with Nicole. She’s picking me up in about an hour. We’re going to grab some pizza first.
MOM: No, you’re not. Remember we talked about this? It’s Friday night. I’m making Shabbat dinner for the family. You can go to the party afterwards if you want.
ELLA: Are you actually serious right now?
MOM: Yes! We just talked about this on Tuesday. We never make time to have a nice dinner together anymore and Shabbat is the perfect time to do it.
ELLA: Mom, I know you just joined Federation, but do you have to go full-on Super-Jew?
ETHAN: Who’s Super-Jew? A new X-Men character?
ELLA: Yeah, Jonah Hill is playing him. No, it’s Mom. And her superpower is ruining people’s Friday night plans.
ETHAN: She is good at it. Not this whole Shabbat thing again?
MOM: Yes, this whole Shabbat thing again, Ethan.
ETHAN: But Corey invited me and the guys for dinner. We’re having band practice in his basement afterwards.
MOM: Isn’t Corey’s mom a terrible cook? Didn’t she serve you that awful fish loaf last time? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because you’re not eating dinner at Corey’s. We are having family dinner tonight and every Friday night from now on. You can do anything you want after that, but you’re eating here. Period.
ELLA: Your band is lame, by the way.
ETHAN: You’re lame!
DAD: Hey, hey — what’s all the yelling in here? Did the country guy win The Voice again?
MOM: Just your children being charming as always. They’re ticked off ‘cuz I’m making them stay home for Shabbat dinner.
ELLA: It’s not fair, Dad. I already had these plans with Nicole, and Mom’s like trying to be all Golda Meir all of the sudden.
ETHAN: Golda Meir? Kate Hudson’s mom?
ELLA: Um, why don’t you try picking up a book once in a while?
DAD: Oh, boo hoo. You kids have it so hard — your mom’s been cooking delicious food for you all afternoon, and now she’s going to make you eat it. To tell you the truth, I’m envious of you guys. I wish I could stay for dinner tonight.
MOM: What? Why can’t you?
DAD: Honey, you know we’ve been trying to finish that report all week in time for Monday’s board meeting. I just came home to change, but then I’m going back to the office. We’re ordering in Chinese and pulling an all-nighter.
ETHAN: So Dad gets to go have fun with his Excel spreadsheets, but we can’t?
ELLA: Yeah, this is a total abuse of power. I’m meeting Nicole!
ETHAN: And I’m eating at Corey’s.
MOM: NO YOU ARE NOT, AND YOU’RE NOT GOING BACK TO THE OFFICE, EITHER! YOU ARE ALL STAYING HERE AND EATING THE SHABBAT DINNER I HAVE COOKED, OR YOU WILL ALL BE WEARING VEGETABLE LASAGNA ON YOUR HEADS, SO HELP ME GOD!
EVERYONE (LOUDLY CLAPS): BOOM!
ELLA: Well, that was dramatic.
EVERYONE (CLAP AND YELL EVEN LOUDER THIS TIME!): BOOM! BOOM!
GOD: Hello, oh Weinberg family!
MOM: Ohmigod, where the heck is that voice coming from??
ETHAN: I think it’s coming from the challah!
GOD: No, Ethan, it’s not coming from the challah. And by the way, your band is kind of lame.
DAD: Listen, whoever you are… however you’re doing this… just stop this right now. Leave my family alone!
GOD: I will not! For I am Adonai, King of the Universe!
ELLA: Jesus Christ!
GOD: Nope, wrong religion. Now listen, all of you: This righteous woman has prepared a vegetable lasagna for your Shabbat dinner. And even though it’s incredibly dry because she left it in the oven too long…
MOM: Dammit. Not again.
GOD: …you will sit and say the prayers over the wine and the bread and eat as a family and chill out!
ETHAN: Um, did God just tell us to chill out?
GOD: Yes, Ethan. I invented chilling out! Do you not remember your Bar Mitzvah? You chanted from the Book of Genesis: And on the seventh day, God finished His work, which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
ETHAN: Is that what I was chanting? I had no idea. I just memorized the Hebrew words and the music.
GOD: Oy… typical. You sounded great though. By the way, you should totally be singing lead, not Corey.
ELLA: So where does it say we have to chill out?
GOD: That’s what it means to rest from your work. Like your paper for Mr. Lippert’s class, Ella. You worked all week on that. Now it’s time to rest and reflect. And you, sir — if you’re going to be working on a report all night, then surely it’s better if you first break bread with the people you most love and remind yourself what all your work is for.
DAD: That’s true, I guess.
GOD: Plus the Chinese place you order from is the worst.
MOM: It really is.
ETHAN: But wait, God, I thought Shabbat also meant that we’re not supposed to do any work, or drive or even turn on a light switch for Friday night and all-day Saturday. So if we’re going to do all that other stuff anyway, what difference does it make whether we have Shabbat dinner or not?
GOD: Because I also said, “Honor thy mother and thy father.” And it is your mother’s wish that you all have a special dinner together once a week. The important thing is that you honor Shabbat in some way. The rest is up to you. Plus, would it kill you to spend a little quality time with your family?
ETHAN: Wow, God’s kind of harsh.
ELLA: You deserve it.
MOM: Thank you, God. I really appreciate you trying to help here.
GOD: Anytime, Mom. But you really need to take that lasagna out of the oven now. It’s basically shoe leather with marinara sauce at this point. I mean seriously, there’s a stopwatch on your iPhone.
MOM (RUNNING TO THE OVEN): Oh, God!
GOD: Now, don’t forget to chill out every Friday night. Shalom. Mic drop. I’m out.
MOM (HOLDING THE LASAGNA): Well, the lasagna is ruined. I guess you all might as well go.
DAD: No, sweetie. We’re all going to stay and eat. But maybe… we’ll order in Chinese.
ELLA: Let’s do Empire Szechuan over on 5th Street! They have the best cold sesame noodles. I’ll just meet Nicole later.
ETHAN: I’ll text Corey and tell him I’ll be over in a couple hours.
MOM: This is the best Shabbat ever!
Why make an account and save your favorite JewBelong stuff? Because someday Jack is going to get off his ass and pop the question and you’re going to get to plan that wedding you've been thinking about since third grade.
Because why use any of your precious brain cells to remember where you kept those great readings that you’ll use someday at Jeffrey’s B Mitzvah? Make an account, keep the readings there. Easy peasy. The only thing you’ll need to remember is your password, and from personal experience that’s hard enough.
Hey, can you watch the phones on Friday? We have a thing.