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Martha Stewartstein?

September 22, 2011 | by Mark Miller

Oy Vey! It’s the Martha Stewartization of Israel!

When you think “Jewish” and “Israel,” one name inevitably comes to mind: Martha Stewart. Okay, maybe not, but there are parallels. Think about it. For centuries, Jews had no homeland; during Martha’s time in prison, she had no home. We Jews are the Chosen People; Martha has made thousands of lifestyle choices. And who spends more time obsessing about food than Jews and Martha? Feel bad about doubting me now? I think you owe me an apology.

Martha Stewart reportedly always wanted to visit the Holy Land. After all, she already had been encouraging people to buy kosher chickens because they’re healthier. Might as well visit Israel and see the kosher chickens in their familiar habitat.

Actually, Stewart was in Israel over this past Labor Day weekend to attend her nephew’s wedding and scout locations for an upcoming segment of her popular TV show as noted in USA Today. That was the official explanation, anyway. After a little digging around, however, I was able to bribe a Stewart insider, who insisted upon anonymity, to reveal the real reason for her trip. Apparently, she has secret plans to “Martha Stewartize” the country as part of her master plan to Martha Stewartize Jews the world over. “She intends to become Queen of the Jews,” revealed the insider. “Then, she’ll launch similar plans to rule the Catholics, Protestants and Mormons. The woman will not stop until she’s Queen of the Universe – which itself, in the process, will become Martha Stewartized.”

“She intends to become Queen of the Jews.”

Once my head stopped spinning and I was able to cease hyperventilating, I began wondering why Martha chose the Jews to kick off her world domination tour. Could it be, as my research indicated, that she is in fact half-Jewish, having changed her name from “Stewartstein”? Could she be attempting to broker peace in the Middle East, thereby causing her star to shine even brighter?

Whatever the case, Israel was sure eager to have her there. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, invited her for a 45-minute chat—on a very busy news day. During the chat, Stewart redecorated the meeting room, knitted multi-colored yarmulkes, and prepared barbecued flank steak with ginger and lime, crisp potato kugel galette, chinois kosher chicken slaw in wonton cups with Chinese mustard vinaigrette, and banana chocolate chip soufflé in the shape of Israel.

In Jerusalem, Stewart took in the sights and smells at the Mahane Yehuda market. She was carried through the market on a throne-like chair, hoisted into the air by an assortment of shoppers. These shoppers later confided their belief that they’d been hypnotized, but understood it was their own fault as they’d been warned never to look Stewart directly in the eyes.

Stewart has said she still dreams about the meal she had at the market’s Machane Yehuda Restaurant – which has since inexplicably been renamed the Martha Stewart Restaurant. There, chefs Assaf Granit and Yossi Elad prepared a tasting platter for Stewart of yellowtail sashimi, tuna tartare, served with a cucumber salad with vinaigrette-ginger dressing. Though Stewart loved the meal, she found the dressing a bit too “gingery,” and so had the chefs publicly flogged as a lesson to the other chefs.

Stewart even took a side trip to Shai Seltzer’s goat farm, west of Jerusalem. There, she encountered 150 Anglo Nubian goats grazing on the hillside, eating herbs and weeds. As per her custom when encountering goat herds, she sampled the goat milk, goat cheese, and had the goats dyed Martha Stewart Plaid for easier identification. By press time, a call placed to one of the goats had still not been returned.

The wedding Stewart attended was in the Old City, whose imposing walls reminded her of her incarceration experience. Stewart only encountered a potentially dangerous situation once during the trip. At her nephew’s wedding, she attempted to pronounce the Hebrew word for wedding canopy – chuppah, and nearly swallowed her tongue. Fortunately, a paramedic was on hand to assist. “I should have learned my lesson when I tried saying the name of my kosher butcher, Yitzchak,” admitted Stewart. “I had a sore throat for three weeks.”

The “Queen of Style” has bigger fish to fry, as it were, than simply re-envisioning bar mitzvah reception tablecloths in a tallit-inspired design. As suspected, Stewart has her eye on the ongoing peace talks themselves. “No one’s ever approached the peace talks from a feng shui point of view,” states Stewart. “Governing people and land is one thing, but why not apply a system of laws to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy?” Though Stewart felt Netanyahu had no idea what she was talking about, he was open-minded enough to tell her to have at it. The next round of peace talks, then, will feature meeting rooms feng shui’d by Stewart, not to mention the wall colors, floors, furniture, and, of course, menus, all created by Stewart’s professional team.

As to the rumors that she plans to “Martha Stewartize” the universe, Stewart herself is evasive. “Look, we all know that true happiness and fulfillment come from within. All the great Hebrew sages have told us that. Just please don’t ask me to pronounce their names. I blame myself for asking Michelle Bachman to help me pronounce chutzpah. But I digress. The thing is, I don’t need more work, fame or power. I have enough money for several lifetimes. That said, if my special gifts can serve to make life more pleasurable and meaningful for those on this and other planets, would it not be wrong to withhold my talents?”

As a small step in that direction, she is planning to create her own brand of Martha Stewart Frozen Jewish Foods – the first being kreplach. Promoters take notice, though – she has it written into her contract that she may not be asked to pronounce “kreplach” – or anything else with the guttural “ch” sound.

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