April 12 12

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m my very own rabbi.

Rabbi Ali, if you will.

So, if you ask me what I think about quinoa being okay for Passover, I will give you this.

Four years ago THE RABBIS said that quinoa is kosher for passover. Two years ago THE RABBIS said it wasn’t. This year there are some that say it is and some that say it isn’t. WHAT? What’s that you say, that makes absolutely no sense?

Indeed. None.

And if you ask me what I think about coffee being okay for Passover, I will, again, give you this.

(Waves hi to all of the googlers fiercely typing “Is Starbucks coffee kosher for Passover?” and sadly landing here.)

Hey, want to know what’s in coffee? Coffee beans! But still, we 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.

Okay, to be fair, drip coffee is pretty much okay during Passover, as long as it’s kosher. (Hi Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts!) But, there are two very important factors at play here: a) my mom is religious and does not use a coffee maker on the first two days of Passover or the last two days of Passover (so we are forced to drink INSTANT) and b) my mom doesn’t have a KOSHER FOR PASSOVER coffee maker to use during the four days in between (so we are forced to drink INSTANT).

Apparently, instant coffee is not pretty much okay during Passover and there are only three kinds that are allowed—and all three pretty much taste like poop on a stick.

So, if you ask me…quinoa and coffee would be a-okay.

But, sadly, no one is asking me.

3 more days and then I can go out and buy myself a giant coffee the size of my head.

3 more days.

3 more days!

It’s officially my 33rd Passover on this earth, yet I am still both fascinated and baffled by this holiday of ours. I kind of 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. They understand the symbolism. They can speak, at length, about plagues and being slaves and each one sings a mean 4 questions.

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 two nights in a row is a nice bonus too. As a non-wine drinker, I am feeling preeeeety good by the end of each seder.

But then there is this kind of, well, slightly 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 of Pharaoh. There’s this part about the rules. The nitty gritty bizarreness that I still don’t understand. The almost-month of preparation that goes into an 8-day holiday. The day before the holiday when 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 almost 10pm. That’s a fun one, let me tell you. The cooking—in different pots and pans—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 they ended up eating unleavened matzah type deals on their way out of Egypt. So now, many many many years later, we are still eating the hastily made bread.


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—you can eat almost nothing because wouldn’t you know it almost everything you eat in this world seems to be made with CORN.


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. And, really, while we’re on the subject of this “bread of affliction” stuff, it’s really more like pita bread and not exactly like the flat and dense slabs of cracker that you all eat every year.

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?



Well, at least I know what my mom is getting from me for her birthday.

It’s for her, obviously.

  1. You kill me, alimartell. But now I’m re-thinking this become-a-jew thing. I can’t boil my kitchen.


    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on April 12, 2012
  2. God: WHAT IN MY NAME….

    hahahahaha. I love that.


    Comment by Jen on April 12, 2012
  3. I was talking to my boss (who is married to a Jewish man) about the instant coffee. And she was like “whoa, my husband is not that religious.”

    My decision to come Saturday instead of Friday is looking pretty good now. I can do the Via, but that other instant is crap.

    Let me know if you need me to bring you something! :)


    ali replied on

    I feel like every single person I know does something different on Passover. My parents are religious, but I know there are people who think she’s not religious enough and wouldn’t eat in her home on Passover. Jews are…complicated.

    I cannot wait to see you.


    Comment by Kristabella on April 12, 2012
  4. So I probably just don’t know enough, but what about using a french press and some pre-ground beans?


    Comment by The Tutugirl on April 12, 2012
  5. There’s various levels of religiousness/playing-by-rules-that-are-probably-made-up-to-make-you-seem-more-righteous in the Mormon church as well, and it mostly has to do with what we drink. Hard and fast rule is no alcohol, wine, coffee or tea. But you can’t buy a caffeinated soda on BYU campus and there is a certain strain of Mormons who think Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew are of the devil. I am not one of those people.

    *takes another sip/glug of ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper.



    Comment by heidikins on April 12, 2012
  6. You have to boil your kitchen?


    Comment by Sharon on April 12, 2012
  7. Wow! So much I didn’t know, and my family is Jewish. Though, I think they’re more the Mom101 variety of Jewish so I guess it makes sense that I didn’t know. You and Metalia should start a series of posts about all the stuff is atheist Jews don’t know.


    Comment by Mrs. Commoner on April 12, 2012
  8. Oh man, do I know about silly religious rules around important religious events, like Easter! I’ve bit followed a single rule, though, this year…am I going to hell?


    Comment by Loukia on April 13, 2012
  9. I bought myself a pesach gift this year. I got myself a french press and some fancy ground french press coffee that made my holiday so much happier. I highly recommend it!


    Comment by Arica Saltzman on April 14, 2012
  10. What kills me is the 18 minute bread thing… I get it, we’re in a hurry, no time for bread to rise… but I can take “cake matzah” and bake a fake cake for 60 minutes! Don’t even get me started on matzah rolls…


    Comment by Andrew on April 14, 2012
  11. I was going to suggest a french press too, and the starbucks Via is pretty good for instant coffee – tho expensive.
    I had no idea there was so much work involved for Passover, very interesting. Thanks for sharing that info.


    Comment by monstergirlee on April 15, 2012
  12. Boil you kitchen? Wow, that (and no decent coffee) is true dedication.


    Comment by Jen on April 16, 2012
  13. [...] considering the coffee— [...]

    Pingback by » At Least I Didn’t Have To See The Three Stooges Cheaper Than Therapy on April 16, 2012
  14. Huh, I never thought about coffee…I drink coffee like water and will continue to do so on Passover.


    Comment by jodifur on March 21, 2013
  15. New comment to update my last years comment: this year Greek Easter is the same weekend as Mom 2.0. I can come ba k early, like Sat., to make sure I don’t miss Sunday, the big feast abc party day, but I’d have to miss Good Friday. Will my mom kill me?!!?
    What to do, what to do…
    Also I’m still so annoyed that somehow you can’t comment on my blog anymore, I want to cry.


    Comment by Loukia on March 21, 2013
  16. [...] am in Milwaukee, celebrating the week of Passover with my family, as I am prone to do every year. Passover makes me frustrated and angry and confused about why we can’t do certain things and why we can, so it’s way easier for me to pack [...]

    Pingback by The Banana, The Beezer, The Bugle, And The 80s - Cheaper Than Therapy | Cheaper Than Therapy on March 28, 2013

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