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?
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.
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—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?
GOD: What in MY NAME IS A STARBUCKS?
Well, at least I know what my mom is getting from me for her birthday.
It’s for her, obviously.