I was walking out of Zeman’s Bakery in Oak Park, Mi., a number of years ago when I chanced upon Morris Flatt. Morris is a real character, except for Shabbat he always dressed oddly and he also speaks with a peculiar accent and often makes outrageous statements and he’s a holocaust survivor. We spoke and kibitzed for a few minutes and since it was just a few weeks before Passover, as we departed company I gave him the traditional farewell, “Ah Kosher Un Freilichen Pesach – have a kosher and joyous Passover.”
Flatt looked at me with utter shock and said, “why do you insult me like that?”
I was confused, what did I say to him that upset him so? I said, ‘how did I insult you?”
Flatt responded, “On Pesach I do not allow any food made in anyone else’s home into my house. I don’t care if it’s from my religious neighbor or from my Rabbi, nothing prepared outside my home enters my house. Yet just a few weeks ago, on the festival of Purim when my friends send out Shalach Mones – food gifts, all kinds of baked goods and homemade delicacies enters into my home. Then, with a twinkle in his eye he said, on Pesach you should say to me, have Ah Freilichen Pesach – have a joyous Passover and on Purim you should say to me, Ah Kosher Un Freilichen Purim – have a kosher and joyous Purim.
What a character, but he does make a good point! Ah Kosher Un Freilichen Pesach – have a kosher and joyous Passover.