Been struggling with blog materials lately (can you tell? last post was more than two weeks ago) when it dawned on me that Passover coincides with Easter this year, almost to the day. And while I’m still scouring the shelves to find flour-free products, dodging the bountiful aisles of Peeps and chocolate bunnies because I’m so darn guilt-ridden, I started thinking about religion. Religion as in “what would happen if I bagged buying the cardboard boxes full of farfel and horribly tasting cake batters and weird looking fish heads and shank bones” and just loaded up on Easter chocolates and well glazed hams with those little dots (what are those anyway?) and jelly beans? What would happen if I (gasp!) defied tradition and went with the Last Supper instead of the Seder? Wasn’t it basically the same meal?
Doesn’t matter how religious we are; our kids will all be in therapy one day anyway because of all our damn guilt.
*Disclaimer* I am a highly ecumenical person. Please do not be offended by the following. This will only instill more guilt in me than I already have.
Without getting too philosophical on this supposed light hearted blog, one may argue that organized religion is the cause of all of the world’s problems. I’ll leave it at that. But if we really break it down, isn’t it the same guilt just packaged with different food?
Passover: Jews are supposed to recount and remember that we were slaves in Egypt. Toiling over bricks and mortar. Building pyramids for Pharoah. Making innocent people get stricken with lice and hail and cattle plague and death of the first born. Wandering in the desert with bad shoes and no bread (*see previous year’s post to my thoughts on the whole Matzah thing) until arriving at Mt. Sinai only to worship a golden calf, get their laws split in two when Moses discovers the Mardi Gras type orgy and finally arriving in Israel without Moses because he dies before stepping foot into the Holy Land. Man, talk about a buzz kill.
Takeaway: We were strangers in a strange land. We were persecuted. We fled. We finally made it to Israel where we continue to fight for land with other religious groups to this very day.
And we wonder why Jews have a higher incidence of anxiety and IBS. Sheesh.
Foods we eat: Unleavened bread. Brisket (always a staple, even if you’re a freaking vegan). No legumes (again, we allegedly didn’t have time to pull them out of the ground before high tailing it out of Egypt). Lots of parsley. Horribly dry desserts.
Foods we don’t eat: Anything that tastes good.
Or, we could go with:
Easter: Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus after his death nailed to the cross. We remember that Jesus died for our sins and was punished for the wrongs of the people.
Takeaway: Jesus took the world’s trouble on himself. We messed up once. Now we have another shot. Jesus’ resurrection gives us another chance to turn our lives around and become better people. But no matter how much we rejoice, we better remember that someone died because of *me* — you piece of…I’ll stop here. Um, guilt-ridden? Ya think?
What we eat: Chocolate bunnies (huh?). Jelly beans (huh?). Hams (Christian equivalent of brisket).
What we don’t eat: Anything that tastes good 40 days prior to celebrating Easter (for Lent).
In summary. We all screwed up. We screwed up in 500BC. We screwed up in 2012. We’ll screw up in 2040. Let’s remember this and know that it’s just part of being human. Let’s do our best to learn about each other’s customs and rituals and songs and liturgy and not judge others. But it sure would be nice to put the rest of this guilt behind us so we can partake in each other’s festive meals without all of these self-imposed restrictions. Cuz I’m really not looking forward to being constipated for ten days.
If you look closely you just may find a piece of Matzah…and some brisket…and some Peeps.
But for now, let’s eat. Here’s something we can both agree on. Kosher for Passover and perfect for Easter dinner.
And now the real recipe:
Roasted Asparagus (enough to serve the whole mishpacha – if you don’t know what this means, google it. If I’m buying the kosher for passover Jelly beans to serve for Easter you can google mishpacha).
Not sure how the Jews had time to harvest this but I won’t get into that now.