Goodbye Matzos

matzosToday is the last day of Passover for Muri and I.  We celebrate the holiday in the Reformed Tradition because Muri is a Reformed Jew and I am her husband, a quasi-reformed Jew, meaning I’ve never really converted but some of the traditions have become part of my life.   You probably know that during Passover, observant Jews only eat unleavened bread, known as matzos.  If you’ve never tried matzos, go out in the garage and chomp on a corrugated cardboard box.  It will give you the general idea.  OK, OK, it’s not that bad if you slather it with cream cheese and a little jelly, and egg matzos (which not all Jews consider Kosher for Passover) are actually fairly tasty.   Some years I religiously (well, perhaps a better term is scrupulously) follow the no-leavened bread-tradition, others I cheat when I’m out and about.  This was a scrupulous year, except when I forgot and scarfed a few cookies and a donut hole at my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting.   Why you might ask, would I follow such an arcane tradition if I’m not really Jewish.  I do it because I believe spiritual traditions, particularly those requiring some sort of discipline, are good for the soul and because I know it’s good for a husband and wife to share spiritual rituals.

Not every Jewish household will be ending Passover tonight … Orthodox and most Conservative Jews celebrate Passover for eight days, in spite of the fact that the scriptures specifically say, you shall celebrate it as a festival throughout the generations…seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  What the hey, you say.  According to Sinai Temple, of Springfield, MA, it turns out that early in the history of the Jewish people, the Jewish calendar was set month by month, uncertainty about the exact date of festivals outside Israel arose. To be sure they “got it right,” early Jews therefore celebrated two days of the festival. That way they hoped not to miss the proper day.  Now that the calendar is fixed, Reformed Jews have decided to practice for seven days, with quasi-reformed Jews tagging along, while other Jews prefer to maintain the ancient eight day tradition.

Tonight, Muri and I will go out for Italian food to enjoy the pasta and leavened bread that we avoided for seven days.  The truth is, it is at breakfast that I miss leavened products the most.  A piece of matzos just can’t stand up to an English muffin or a bagel or even a bowl of cereal.  Since Muri’s grew up withcrumb trail Passover and she’s not quite the bread-addict I am, she doesn’t miss the leavened products as much as I do, but going our for something we’ve been avoiding when the holiday ends is a nice tradition  I’m sure Muri’s glad Passover’s over for another reason.  Matzos make crumbs … lots of them.  Muri is a fastidious eater and cleans up her crumbs.  Older Eyes is less fastidious and often doesn’t notice his crumbs, so you can trace my path,  like a quasi-Jewish Hansel, through the house by my matzos-crumb trail.  Muri won’t miss that.

Have a great weekend.

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