Even though it’s my 31st Passover on this earth, I am still both fascinated and baffled by this holiday of ours. I have said this before, so it should come as no surprise…I love the traditions of my religion. I love what my children learn about holidays. Before each one, my children come home with bags full of projects and songs and a full understanding of what the holiday is all about. I mean, Isabella is only four, but she can tell you exactly what happens at a Passover seder and she can sing you at least 18 songs and can explain why we eat matzo…I mean, she learned it all on her matzo factory trip. She even got a hat and her own homemade matzo (that she forced me to taste. barf)Â to prove it. Emily came home with a handmade clay bowl and pitcher that she made Ghost-style all by herself and she’s thrilled to be able to use it when we wash our hands at the seder table. Josh made a tray with each of the ten plagues on it for the part of the seder where we discuss the frogs and the lice and the vermin and the blood and all that jazz.
This is the lovely part of the holiday. The part that makes me proud of our Jewish heritage. I mean, and you know, the mandatory 4 cups of wine is a nice bonus too.
But then there is this kind of, well, ridiculous part. The part that takes away from the loveliness of the holiday that is supposed to celebrate the Jews getting freed from the slavery ofÂ Pharaoh. There’s this part about the rules. The nitty grittyÂ bizarreness that I still don’t understand. The almost-month of preparation that goes into an 8-day holiday. The day before the holiday where you can’t eat any more non-kosher for passover food, but yet you still aren’t allowed to eat Passover food, so essentially you race to eat your last bread at 10am, but then you can’t really eat Passover food until the seder…like 9pm. That’s a fun one, let me tell you. The cooking – in different pots and pansÂ than usual. The changing over of your kitchen – the pouring of boiling water over your granite countertops, or actually COVERING your non-granite countertops. The food restrictions.
I mean, I GET the reason for why we eat no leavening. I get that the Jews left Egypt in such haste that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise, so ended up eating unleavened matzo type deals on their way out of Egypt. So now, many many many years later, we are still eating the hastily made bread. See? WE ARE BIG ON THE SYMBOLISM. And I even get this rule that you aren’t allowed to eat the five grains that you normally make bread out of…wheat, oat, barley, spelt and rye. Fine, I get it. But then somewhere along the line, some rabbis decided that HEY! maybe you can make bread of corn, rice, peanuts, and legumes, so HUZZAH! those are no longer allowed either…and you know what than means, good people, don’t you…NO DIET COKE because wouldn’t you know that almost everything you eat in this world is made with CORN.
This is something many rabbis will tell you is ridiculous and makes little to no sense.
(I like those rabbis)
Imagine this little scenario….
GOD: Moses and Co…please don’t eat any leavened bread.
MOSES: So, you are saying that we shouldn’t eat bread for 8 days?
GOD: YES! Don’t eat bread. Or any of the other 5 main grains.
MOSES: So, wait, God, you are saying that we shouldn’t eat anything else either, right? like corn or beans or rice, right?
GOD: Moses, are you not listening? I said BREAD. BREAD. BREAD.
MOSES: So, wait, you are saying we should buy all new pots and pans and boil our kitchens and make ourselves crazy buying insanely expensive fancy rabbi-certified stuff and we can’t use our dishwashers? Are you mad??
GOD: Moses, I said BREAD. wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt. and PS, Mo, what the heck is a dishwasher?
MOSES: So, wait, you are saying that we can’t drink diet coke and can’t go to Starbucks, right?
GOD: What in MY NAME IS A STARBUCKS?
OH! And you want to talk about quinoa. Two years ago THE RABBIS said that quinoa is kosher for passover. Last year THE RABBIS said it wasn’t. This year there are some that say it is and some that say it isn’t. WHAT? It’s like a rabbi contest, and the forget what this holiday is all about.
Guess what Rabbi Ali thinks about quinoa….
AND COFFEE OH MY GOD THE COFFEE.
Guess what’s in coffee? coffee beans. But still, you need to be told which coffee is good enough….because you know, back in Egypt, which kind of coffee the Jews were drinking as they ran hastily out of Egypt and away from slavery was super important. You see where I am going with this? It’s COFFEE.
So, I did some digging and found that other people think the rabbis need to stop competing for the biggest wiener and the biggest passover restriction and found on the OU website….which is considered to be good authority…
So, guess who is eating quinoa and drinking Starbucks this week?
OH YEAH. I am such a rebel.