Sunday, April 20, 2008


Pesach, that is passover to you of the Gentile persuasion, has begun. It started last night and so far, so good, well mostly. You see I am a bread-aholic and so this whole no bread thing is tough for me. I wanted toast with my eggs this morning or pancakes or waffles or crackers or well, hell, anything that I am not supposed to have. So, why do I do this? Why do I abstain from bread and the like and eat matzah for 8 days? Well, honestly I am not sure. I have been to a synagogue three times since I graduated from undergrad 7 years ago and one of those times was at a second cousin's Bat Mitzvah. There are times I miss it, I miss the meditation of sitting and listening to others pray. I miss listening to the Rabbi read from the Torah and the community. And really I miss the Oneg Shabbat otherwise known as the food after services. But I have not really had a drive to find a synagogue around here either, I tried once or twice in my former home in NC, but nothing ever stuck. I guess I do all of this cause it is tradition. I do it because I have always done it since I was little and it would feel weird to me if I didn't. I fast on Yom Kippur and I don't eat bread during passover because that is what is done. I eat latkes for Chanukah and sometimes Challah for Shabbat. I guess I am a cultural Jew, I do the customs and cultural side of things without thinking about the religious significance. I started to think about this because my mom sent me an article about the retirement of the Rabbi that I grew up with. I knew he was retiring, she had told me so, but it was interesting to see the articles about his retirement and think about the times in which I was in a synagogue and growing up. I have lost some of that I think, but I retain so much more than I realize at times. On a final note, I strongly encourage all of you to go check out Padre Mickey's post about Passover, with a hat tip to Fran because without her, I would not have seen possibly one of the funniest Jewish related things I have seen in many moons. Gut Yontif to all of my Jewish and Yid identified friends on this eight days of no bread.


FranIAm said...

I can only say that the matzah with the poppy seeds and onion flavor is not too bad.

Imagine if you were frum, matzah schmatzah... Your whole kitchen would have to be koshered. Oy gevalt.

Chag sameach my friend.

Anonymous said...

Gut Yontif, Boxer.

All the best.

Boxer rebel said...

Fran- Ahh yes but the flavored matzot are not kosher for passover not that I always totally follow that, but sill the flavored ones seem to be not quite right for passover. I just eat the egg matzah. As to to koshering the whole kitchen, my mom grew up in an Orthodox household and they had to do that, it is a great pain.

Dcup- Thank you and to you.

Anonymous said...

Doing the whole koshering ritual in 2008 is more than ridiculous it's absurd.

I enjoy reading Boxer's musings about growing up Jewish. What can I say, I am Boxer's proud mom! I do enjoy preparing and having a sedar probably because it evokes memories of my parents. I enjoy eating the traditional foods I grew up with. During Pesach I do not eat bread or pork products. Having said that I want to emphasize that I do this because it is my choice not because someone tells me I must do it. I think that we should do want we think is right for each of us.

Attending organized prayer meetings, e.g. services, is not the essence of religion for me. It's what I feel in my soul and how I interpret what religion is. That being - being a good person and doing good things.

Boxer's mom

GourmetGoddess said...

For most people, ritual - especially religious ritual - is a very comforting thing. Especially those rituals of our youth, if our youth was a positive time.

I have never been comfortable with religious ritual, probably because my religious experiences growing up were not very positive. And I have found that, in constrast to many people, I grew more and more uncomfortable with religious ritual the more I studied theology, largely because ritual becomes rote for so many people. I will be attending some ritual and something will occur and there will be all sorts of negative implications for me that I know from studying theology. But no one else will catch it. And I will practically have to bite my tongue in order to silence the chittering that wants to burst out.

Anyway, if there is food involved during or after the ritual, I am totally there. When I was an undergrad we even used to go to the Hare Krishnas on Sunday night, because they always fed us afterwards :)