Dropping Off Mishloach Manos, the Mathematical Way // I have the tools to make Purim day go more smoothly. But what are they doing to me? As told to Rafael Borges

Parenting With Slovie Jungreis Wolff

Recently, when I think about Purim during the day, I dream of mathematics at night.
Let’s be clear. Purim is a great Yom Tov. I love it. My whole family loves it. But I’m the one who has to deliver the mishloach manos.
My wife is a teacher, so she has to remain at home waiting for her talmidos much of the day. Also, she makes the mishloach manos. For those two reasons, it’s my responsibility to actually deliver them.
But as everyone can tell you, on Purim, traffic becomes something unearthly. The combination of many people needing to make stops and many people driving to neighborhoods other than their own makes traffic slow. But the addition of yeshivah bachurim running into the street, parents trying to find out why their children are still delivering that mishloach manos and just general Purim madness makes the traffic not just slow but wild, like a blind, rambling animal with thousands of feet, only all the feet are wheels.
There are techniques that can be used. There are streets that you can use to circumvent neighborhood sticking points. But Purim has a time factor, also. You need to finish getting all the mishloach manos out as early as you can, so you can go to the seudah, which is sometimes in a different neighborhood—as ours always is. Some of your children’s teachers have a specific time at which they’ll be home.
So it’s not enough to take a circuitous route and just make it home eventually. You need to find a way to optimize your route, taking in the teacher’s time constraints, and get back early.


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