Thursday, April 1, 2010

Passover Shenanigans

Happy April 1st, a day marked by Google changing its name to Topeka, youtube streaming videos as ASCII text, and us Jews still not eating bread.

This Pesach has already been filled with some interesting happenings, detailed below

First, in the lead up to Pesach, a holiday in which we don't eat chametz, a certain level of 'Spring Cleaning' goes on. But beyond the simple sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, we also soaked dishes in boiling water to ritually purify them and remove any lingering chametz. All that is pretty standard, but when Dan, president of the Next Dor Board, asked us to sign a contract to allow a Rabbi to sell our remaining Chametz, we were a little confused.

See, religious Jews get rid of all of their chametz, either selling it, giving it away, or burning it in some cases. For those who don't want to waste the food, you can give someone the authority to 'sell' the chametz for the duration of Passover, after which the ownership automatically returns to you.

This work around is pretty humorous to secular Jews who look at it and think, if you are just going to get around it on a technicality, why do it at all... which is a conversation for another day.

We were able to hold a large (38 people) First Night Seder, thanks to a few enterprising friends and a generous grant from Birthright Israel Next. Sure, only 25 people RSVPed, with many contacting us last minute (the latest being around an hour before our scheduled start time), but that is the point of a Seder right? To enable all who are in need to come take part, to help to make people feel at home and welcome, and to fulfill the educational and ritual traditions associated with the holiday.

After consulting with a few Israeli friends, we are happy to announce a Chag Sheinee BBQ, as well as a Mimouna Celebration. There isn't a whole lot of time between now and then, so figure out if you can make it and let us know ASAP.

How have you been dealing with Passover? Have you found the lack of bread particularly hard this year, or has the partial fast aided you in moving towards your own personal freedom?

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