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Passover: One Great Holiday! Part Two

04/07/2017 02:15:17 PM


Continuing on last week’s theme about why Passover is so special and so wonderful, today I will discuss the amazing food of Passover! Though some see the food restrictions as difficult and troublesome, I see them as part of a seven day spiritual journey that allows us to fully feel as if we came out of Egypt. I also love the challenge of eating good, tasty food and adhering to the guidelines. We are taught that we may not eat wheat (except matzah), rye, oats, barley, spelt of anything made from them. For reasons that are not particularly clear, though some say that it was the fear of mixing up legume flour and forbidden flours, the Ashkenazim outlawed the eating of all legumes (adding corn and rice) and anything made with them. . Even by the thirteenth century there were Rabbis saying this was unnecessary but the practice persisted.

Independent of each other three Rabbinical Counsels of the Reform and Conservative Movements had made statements in recent years that permit the eating of all legumes. Many people still choose to refrain from the eating of anything made with legumes. In this case the love of tradition outweighs the rationality of the decision. This is another thing I love about Passover – tradition!  At every Seder, I remember the seders of my childhood. As I eat matzah I recall the matzah sandwiches that I brought to school. The smell and taste of charoset reminds me of the many “traditional” charoaset recipes.

Whether or not we choose to eat legumes (and I do) the food tradition of Passover is rich and enjoyable. There are so many great Passover recipes that I often find myself challenged to decide which to make. This year, as one of the special events, we are going to have an “international” charoset bar at the seder. We will have the opportunity to taste the traditions of our people who developed alternative Passover recipes in different countries..

I love the food of Passover because it is different and often creative. Matzah pizza might be better than Chicago pizza! On Facebook there is what looks like an amazing recipe for “matzah crack”. Somehow, even gefilte fish tastes better during Passover.

Take om the challenge and make something amazing this Pesach!

Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780