- Rafi went on a trip to Hebron and to Shiloh, where one of my favorite bloggers lives.
- Chaviva’s Seder
- Carl and family visited the Old City of Jerusalem.
- After some argument from my Middle Son on why did I have to ask my daughter’s opinion, we agreed to go to Sandy Hook, a charming beach on the Jersey Shore.
- Ilana-Davita had to return to work as a teacher. I have to admire her for choosing teaching as a profession, even if she is feel rather worn by it all at present.
Food and Pesach:
- Jack brought up Eggs and Pesach. I feel the poor, maligned egg got bad press in the late twentieth century and really is healthier than one might think. Evil foods, in my opinion, are trans fats like margarine and most vegetable oils (especially heated oils, as in french fries), except for first cold-pressed olive oil and coconut oil. Refined sugar ain’t so hot, either, but try eliminating that one! It’s everywhere. I would prefer that I am totally wrong about this, and the healthiest thing you can eat is a chocolate chip cookie made with Crisco and refined sugar, with vanillin (which is supposedly a carcinogen, as opposed to real vanilla). So when the chocolate chip cookie cure is published, I will blog about it (though not before Monday morning, when Pesach is over everywhere).
- Kitniyot or Qitniyot: These are foods such as beans, peas and rice that Ashkenazi Jews do not eat on Passover, because in the middle ages the beans sometimes had grains mixed in. Can we get rid of Kitniyot? Is it a major problem in the Jewish community? See The Great Walls of Pesach, which first alerted me to the fact that this may be more than interesting varieties in custom, and then On Qitniyot and Perversion.
I spoke with one of my relatives by marriage about Kitniyot. She grew up eating Kitniyot, then stopped eating Kitniyot when she got married. She can no longer eat at her parents’ home on Pesach, because her husband does not want to have the Kitniyot around. But she also did not enjoy eating at her in-laws, because there are way, way too many people for her at his parents’ Seder (he is one of eleven children). It sounded like she REALLY disliked going to her in-laws for Seder, but she doesn’t mind at all not eating Kitniyot. So some of the issue is really about family dynamics; does a person accept what one’s family does? Does the family insist that they are RIGHT? Or can people be flexible and make compromises so they can be together over the holiday?
It reminds me a bit of the BT (Ba’al Tshva, or a person who became religiously observant when not brought up observant) issue and Pesach. Some people really like to be with their family on Pesach, but their family may not keep as strictly kosher as they do. Sometimes some discussion can make for possibilities that were not otherwise possible.
I cannot really see a global halachic solution. If rabbis in Israel agree to get rid of Kitniyot, will rabbis in Far Rockaway agree as well? (for example, as that is where we usually go for Pesach).
Brachot and Healthy Choices: One of my nieces says she has Ha-Motzi-phobia (ha-motzi is the blessing over bread or matza, and it requires a long after meals blessing at the end). She doesn’t want to bench (say the long blessing at the end of a meal), so she will choose cake, which she knows isn’t as healthy as say, matza brei (matza with egg; kind of like French Toast for Pesach). Is there anyone else on the planet who is bothered by the fact that people look for mezonos food (like after kiddush and before the main meal on Shabbat) and end up eating more cake?
Young Love: My nephew walked 8 miles on Yom Tov (the holiday over last weekend, when we observant Jews couldn’t drive) to see his beloved fiancée.