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Friday, March 19, 2010

Something Good About Passover?

Leora asked for our favorite things about the passover Seder.  I'd like to broaden the question, especially after a very negative and revealing post of my own on me-ander.

When I was down at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I revelled in the beauty nature had miraculously revealed.  I took picture after picture, as if I was photographing my grandchildren at play.  Bli neder (not an oath) I will post them at a later time, like when we have a better computer.  This year, we were blessed with more rain than recent years, though according to our neighbor Rabbi Dov Berkovits who keeps records, only about 85% of the official annual quantity.  Maybe it's also because we had a relatively warm winter, but the almond trees were full of delicious green almonds.  At this stage, they are totally edible.

There are many animals which "change their skin" every year.  Is that related to our Passover cleaning?

In the fall, we move into temporary homes, succot, to remind us that we're on a path and the material possessions are just fleeting, temporary.  Is there a relationship to Passover and the need to change all the dishes and kitchen equipment?

Chametz חמץ in Hebrew also means "spoiled."  If food is too old and dangerous to eat, it smells חמוץ "chamootz," spoiled.  If we hold on to things and feelings too long, do we endanger ourselves?

Is this why so many people, present company excluded, go "whole hog" (rather an oxymoron, outrageous idiom considering) cleaning for Passover?  People scrub their windows and ceilings, while for sure there's no food, nor does anyone eat on their ceilings and windows.

I don't expect to find food in the clothes closet, since only clean clothes are hung there, so a year like this (and too many others) year I don't pull out all my clothes to check every pocket.  There's no way I could have sandwich or cookie crumbs in a pocket, especially since I don't eat those foods.  A year and a half ago, I changed my eating/menu and lost weight.  Chametz, bread, cakes, noodles etc aren't on my daily menu.

For almost six months, my father has been living with us, so the grandkids have only come for short visits.  We don't get food all over.

What's the best thing about Passover?  It's reaching the deadline, biyur chametz, burning the chametz, that time the morning before the seder when I know that I'm finished.  Nothing more can be done.  What's done is done.  Make peace with it and go on with Passover.  Until we make the "Hamotzy," prayer on the matzah during the seder, we can eat neither chametz nor matzah or any matzah meal based food.

Then I wonder why the holiday is only a week long.  All that work for only a week...

If Passover is only a week, maybe we should calculate our preparation time for just the same, a week?

What are your thoughts?  That's what comments are for...

13 comments:

Keli Ata said...

Oh Batya! What a lovely post. I'll add that to my first good things about Pesach--it causes us to reflect on so many things, so many miracles. Depth upon depth upon depth.

Secondly, that Hashem always heeds our calls for help be they collective or individual.

Thirdly, it reminds us that even when the fluff is removed from our lives, we are never the less elevated. Unleaven but definitely elevated spiritually!

Fourth--chocolate maccaroons. Okay, a frivolous thing to be thankful for but I love them:) The local supermarket always includes them in their small Kosher for Passover section so I buy them every year.

Lastly (for now)--the presence of the Kosher for Passover section. I am glad it's there.

Shabbat Shalom!

Batya said...

Keli, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

Matzah is the essence of bread, just flour and water.

Keli Ata said...

LOL Hadassa. Yep, Pesach is special enough to reserve a cookie for and the chocolate macaroons are the cookies.

These are regular chocolate macaroons but dipped in chocolate sounds wonderful! I wonder if there's a recipe for it online?


What you wrote about having the home Kosher for Pesach the way Hashem wants it is a beautiful thought:)

Batya said...

Hadassa, Yes, it can be hard with the kids. It's all year habbits which make the difference. If they put crackers and cookies in their pockets in the summer, they'll have trouble remembering not to do it from Purim on. Your kids are getting older, beisdes the baby of course. That should help.

keli, everythime I pass the macarroons at the grocers, which aren't that great here, I have to control myself from buying some. Israeli ones are more sugar and less coconut.

Keli Ata said...

Israeli macaroons sound wonderful! But I can see what you mean about the sugar.

Even with the US ones I typically polish off half a can before Pesach.

Batya said...

Keli, if it's just once a year, but there's also sugar in the juice and wine...
Definitely not the season for diabetics.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Batya, I agree with you about the pockets. They're not supposed to eat on the couch either...

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Keli, I'm sure that all non-crumbly macaroons can be easily dipped in melted chocolate, whether they're home-made or store bought. Not that I've ever made macaroons.

Anonymous said...

Keli, Israeli macaroons are awful! That's because Israel only imports fully hydrated coconut flakes, unlike the moist coconut available in N. America.

There's a tremendous difference.

Batya said...

Hadassa, I guess that's what's meant by preparing for Pesach all year long...

Shy, so you're a cooking maven too?

Keli Ata said...

Shy, I'll just have to get to Israel and try some Israeli macaroons out and compare them to US ones lol.

Hmmm. With such warm weather I would have thought there'd be tons of coconuts in Israel to use.

To be honest, I never had a macaroon in my entire life until I started observing Pesach. I only eat them once a year--kind of like the Jewish version of the xtian Cadbury Eggs lol.

Anonymous said...

Batya, yes.

Keli, to the best of my knowledge, no coconuts are grown in Israel.

And the whole ones they import often arrive in bad condition, as in sour, even moldy in the inside.

I have no idea why they don't grow them here. They grow everything else!

Batya said...

Shy, it may be that we don't get enough rainfall for coconuts.