Charoset and Chocolate Eggs

Last night was the first night of Passover, known as Pesach to Jews, which celebrates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt.  Passover is traditionally celebrated with a Seder, a ritualized dinner of specific foods symbolizing the Exodus and the reading from a haggadah, that tells the story of Exodus and explains some of the traditions.  For example, according to Judaism 101, matzo commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing the “puffiness” (arrogance, pride) from our souls.  Some symbolic foods are arranged on a Seder plate and used during the dinner as part of certain rituals.  Two of these are charoset, a mix of chopped apples, walnuts, sweet wine and cinnamon, and bitter herb, or horseradish.  Charoset symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews to build during their slavery and bitter herb represents the bitterness of enslavement.

When I was leaving for the park yesterday morning, Muri was already busily preparing dinner.   She said, I’m not going to make charoset today.  It’s a lot of work.   We haven’t actually done a Seder in years but I was disappointed.  Here’s why.   The Hillel sandwich originally added to the Seder by Rabbi Hillel consists of a spoonful of charoset and some horseradish between two pieces of matzo.  Yeah, nuts and horseradish on cardboard.   Not only have I acquired a taste for this peculiar combination … it symbolizes the way that Muri’s traditions have become mine as our lives have entwined.   I wanted my Hillel sandwich!!!  So, I surprised Muri by making it for her.

You may have guessed that it’s Top Sites Tuesday #98 – an Easter Memory, and here I am, the spiritual-but-not-religious formerly Catholic coot, posting about Passover.  Of course, the two holidays are forever linked by the fact that The Last Supper was a Seder and the first communion was likely matzo.   Easter was celebrated in a minor key in my parents’ house, Sunday to church for sure, then lilies for the grandmothers and a family ham dinner.   And, of course, there was Easter candy delivered by a large but unseen rabbit, a strange and somewhat creepy concept.  Fellow blogger, thesinglecell has a hysterical post on that subject, here.    But the peculiar oryctolagus cuniculus certainly did deliver some good stuff … Swiss chocolate eggs (which we renamed Sweggs) … black jelly beans (he delivered many colors but only black qualify as favorites) … and, my personal favorite, an enormous, dark chocolate covered coconut egg.

So, there you have it, my equal time Passover-Easter Memories.  Charoset and Chocolate Eggs.  I suppose you might read something into the juxtaposition … the difference between childhood and adulthood … the difference between the way Christians and Jews celebrate holidays … literalism versus symbolism.   Have at it.   I’m going to just enjoy the memories, which are both sweet in their own way.  It would also be sweet if you’d push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #98. And Happy Easter or Happy Passover, or Happy Whatever-It-Is-You-Celebrate … or Don’t-Celebrate.

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16 Comments on “Charoset and Chocolate Eggs”

  1. I suppose I could find lovely symbolism in your combination of spring religious holiday foods, but instead I’m just going to opt for you having a bit of a sweet tooth (I’m imagining charoset, sans bitter herb, is a bit on the sweet side). Thanks for the link to my Creepster Bunny post!

    • oldereyes Says:

      Actually, charoset is only slightly sweet. I’d describe it as nutty. Several friends have followed my link and loved your post. They’re lurker so you’ll probably never hear from them.

  2. AngelBaby Says:

    Wow, now this would make for a very interesting and cultural Easter. How wonderful to spend it with two different religions, I would love to see how you do this.

    Here’s your click ……….

    Love and Blessings,

  3. Liggy Says:

    I always love it when I read about food…or chocolate candy!!! Yummy! Your post made me hungry, Bud, so I’m gonna give you a click and go find me some chocolate! 🙂

    Have a Happy Easter!

  4. granny1947 Says:

    Another really interesting post Bud…you are educating me…thank you.

  5. Cheryl P. Says:

    Sorry, I am so late getting back to the computer today, Bud. There really is a lot of common ground between Judaism and Christianity. I found your post really interesting. As always great post.

    Here is your click


  6. territerri Says:

    Reading this, I feel like I need to put more thought into this holiest of holy days, instead of just going through the motions.

    *button pushed* 🙂

    • oldereyes Says:

      My Mom always lectured us about how the Jews she knew were so much more serious about their holidays. The truth is, in Judaism, the fun stuff is associated with the minor holidays, like Channukah and Purim, while the main holidays like Passover and Yom Kippur are serious, so the serious stuff doesn’t get lost in the fun.

  7. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    Very interesting post, I didn’t know this about the Jewish traditions.

    Talking about Easter makes me want to get a hold of all that chocolate! You guys are so lucky to have See’s Candies out on the West coast, you get those amazing Easter Eggs!


  8. Trina Says:

    I really like the lesson. It’s interesting how the many different religions celebrate similar holidays around the same time.

    OMG I love those giant chocolate eggs, but my favorite is the chocolate buttercream filled 🙂 Chocolate covered chocolate, what could be better? LOL

    Happy Passover and Easter!

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