Posted tagged ‘Passover’


April 4, 2021

matzosProbably most of you know that last Friday was Good Friday, the day that Jesus was crucified.   A likely lesser number know that it was the 7th day of Passover, the traditional Jewish commemoration of the escape of the Jews from Egypt. The juxtaposition is no coincidence, of course … Jesus was a Jew and the last Supper was a Passover Seder.  Although I have never converted to Judaism (something about a ritual circumcision … just a tiny knick, the rabbi said), I do join my wife Muri in not consuming leavened bread grains of legumes.  To be honest, some years more than others.  I am a bread addict and I admit, sometimes I indulge in sneak treat when I’m out alone.  Not this year.  Now, in case you are not Jewish … or never took  some kaocomparative religion in school …. you may have never tasted Matzoh, the unleavened cardboard (er, bread) that we eat instead of real bread during Passover.    For me, eating too much Matzoh is like drinking a bottle of Kaopectate with breakfast.   My digestive system stops working and I lose my appetite … and by Friday breakfast time I was dying for carbs.   I decided to sneak off to McDonald’s for a sausage McMuffin with Egg, (more…)

Goodbye Matzos

April 10, 2015

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. (more…)

Friday Favorites 4/6/2012

April 6, 2012

This evening the Jewish holiday of Pesach … commonly referred to Passover … begins at sunset.   The holiday, which celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, is perhaps the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday, observed to some degree by even otherwise non-observant Jews.   If you are interested in the details of the holiday, there is an excellent summary on Judaism 101, a great resource for all your questions about Judaism.   This holiday has been part of my life for roughly forty-five years now, counting the time Muri and I were together before we were married.   Jews do not eat leavened bread during Pesach, commemorating the fact that the Jews had to leave Egypt in a hurry and did not, therefore, have time to let their bread rise, the result being the first matzo.   In observant homes, all leavened products are removed from the home during Passover.   As a semi-Jew (a particularly reformed sect that changes its degree of observance from year to year), I sometimes eat leavened bread during Passover, although not in front of Muri.  This year I plan on towing the line and sticking to matzo, no small sacrifice.  As I said to Meleah of Momma Mia Mea Culpa on Facebook, Passover means Hello Matzo, Goodbye Fiber.  By the end of the eight days of Passover, your insides can feel like you’ve been eating cement. (more…)

Due Pensieri il Martedì

April 26, 2011

Monday morning, on my way to meet a friend at Starbucks, I found myself behind a huge white SUV at local traffic light.  Neatly arranged on the rear window was a family of skull decals,  the Mom and little girl with pretty pink ribbons affixed to their heads (glue?).   These things strike me as very creepy, especially the children portrayed as little dead people.   My daughter, Miss Fashion Conscious, has been dressing her kids in cute little skull patterns for some time, as well as bigger skulls for herself and her husband.  The kids look cute until I get up close enough to notice they’re sporting death-paisley, my daughter looks very fashionable and her husband looks … well, let’s let that go.   So, What is it with the skulls?   I assumed the phenomenon was related to the amazing popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  How is it possible that (more…)

Easter. Sunday.

April 24, 2011

Sundays (except when we have theater tickets) are frequently easy days for Muri and I … lunch and a trip to the park or to Mother’s Beach in Dana Point to sit in our camp chairs and read.   But it’s Easter Sunday today.   Yorba Linda Regional Park is not my park on Easter … it belongs to the large families who congregate there for Easter celebrations.   I’ve been in Socal for so long that I don’t know if this is a tradition elsewhere in the country but here, every strip of public land large enough to be called a park is packed to overflowing.   So, as non-Christians, Easter Sunday is a what-shall-we-do day for us.  By the way, I won’t be in my park tomorrow, either because the large families of Easter celebrants leave such a mess that it infuriates me too much to be there.   Sorry to be curmudgeonly … I know how important this day is for Christians. (more…)

Charoset and Chocolate Eggs

April 19, 2011

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. (more…)