Sunday, April 20, 2008

Passing Over

For the first time in my life, I got to celebrate Passover without the religion part. The only mentions of God were (a) anecdotal, (b) derogatory, (c) both, or (d) blessing the wine and the matzo, since those are short and I like the way they sound. It was a vast improvement. I basically slimmed down the seder to the bits that I remembered from past seders, which were few and oddly assorted. I think, for the future, I'd like to have a more formalized service than the "I forget; I'll look it up on Wikipedia" version that I led last night, but this was a great first one. There were seven people there, counting me, and one hedgehog. He ate some of the teglach, eventually, but ignored the charoset I gave him.

My eventual plan, I think, is to get a copy of the Haggadah I've always used, a highlighter, a sharpie, and several other online versions of the service, and transform the old family Haggadah into the new feminist-queer-atheist-musico-political-extravaganza Haggadah. The four cups of wine and all of the songs will be reinstated (our family skips most of that), and lots of enslavements other than the Jews in Egypt will get airtime. I also want to emphasize the pagan celebration of the vernal equinox that was the original source of the holiday. Hopefully by next year I can figure all of this out.

Food changes for next year (so I can look it up here in advance):
1. find some way to work protein into the meal, though not too much. It's supposed to be a pile of carbs.
2. Chocolate easter bunnies.
3. Teglach in a larger pot with less chance of boiling over and covering my stove in honey. Also, perhaps making it with passover flour if I'm feeling crazy.
4. 2 small kugels instead of one huge one. Way easier to flip.
5. Apparently doubling the matzo balls isn't enough. Triple them!?
6. Non Israeli matzo, no matter how far I have to go to find it. Damn Whole Foods.
7. Better tzimmes recipe. This one was meh.
8. Try roasting the egg and eating it.
9. Figure out a way to work eating the feminist orange into the service.
10. Most important of all, chocolate matzo AND chocolate-covered matzo. I will search high and low, near and far, and have them mailed from Brooklyn if I have to. There WILL be chocolate-y, matzo-y desserts next year.

Those who attended are welcome to add other food- or service-related suggestions. Those who did not attend are also welcome to suggest awesomeness.

Oh, and if anyone speaks Hebrew, I'm going to need to conjugate Avadim Hayinu in various other persons and tenses. Help!


Anonymous said...

Why non Israeli matzo? My immediate thought is for political reasons, but I'm curious to know if that's the reason, or if it's something else.

Hi Sam.


CelloShots said...

Political reasons is right. Normally, I can get good, solid, Brooklyn-baked matzo, but Whole Foods here carries a grand total of one kind of matzo, which is a stupid Israeli brand that, on top of being Israeli, shatters when you try to butter it. Definitely not going to repeat that experience.

Aaron said...

My favorite chocolatier has them. It's called Vosges and it's based out of Chicago, but they have a store in Vegas at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace. Anyway, go here.

Marisa said...

Wow-- I have been having almost the same exact issues with Passover, myself... even down to many of the small details that you mentioned. Consequently, I have started to put together my own secular humanistic haggadah. I've put quite a bit of work into it, but unfortunately I was unable to finish it for Passover this year. When I finish it, though, I can email you a copy if you'd like, for you to use or ignore as you see fit.

Also, on a related note: I enjoy reading your blog.

-Ris :-)