Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Passover Prep

Passover officially starts this Saturday night and continues through the next Sunday. There is a lot of preparation that goes into Passover in our home, and we've been busy preparing since last weekend.

It is customary during Passover not to eat any leavened bread or anything made of chametz (and Ashkenazi Rabbis added kitniyot to this as well - thanks guys...). From this tradition, comes lots of rules, regulations and madness.

In an effort not to consume any chametz or kitniyot during Passover, most observant Jews turn over their entire kitchen and do a thorough "Spring cleaning". Also, any processed foods need to have a special hechsher (certification or marking) for Passover which is kind of an approval symbol that no grains or corn/beans/rice were used in the making/processing/packaging of these foods. (this is the only time of year where you can purchase Coca Cola that uses sugar and not corn syrup! look for the yellow caps and Passover certification...). Let me tell you - eating carbs will not be easy next week. Luckily potatoes are allowed!

We're relatively strict in our observance of the holiday - we have separate dishes, flatware and pots and pans for Passover (so that there is less of a chance that we will eat non-Passover foods). Last night was spent doing some more Passover shopping, and took all of our non-Passover foods out of our pantry and brought them down to the basement. Tonight we'll most likely clean out the refrigerator and freezer and by tomorrow we won't consume any non-Passover foods in our house until after the holiday is over. Thursday night we'll swap out our dishes and pots and pans.

The good part about all of this is that it forces us to clean out the pantry, refrigerator and freezer at least once a year. It's amazing what you find!!! :-)

However, all this preparation makes me wonder whether we're losing touch with why we're not to eat chametz in the first place. The Israelites left Egypt in such haste that there was not time for their bread to rise - therefore, no leavened products. Could you imagine if the Israelites tried to turn over their kitchen or search for Passover-approved foods before leaving Egypt? We'd still be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt!!!

On top of all the normal preparations, we are hosting the festive Passover seder meals on both Saturday night and Sunday night...and we're having a lot of guests. Saturday night will be dinner for 21 and Sunday night will be dinner for 24 (perhaps up to 26, as there are two people who still have not given us an answer).

I'll need every drop of those four cups of wine to get through the weekend!!!

1 comment:

Rick said...

Very cool. Thanks again for sharing in your holiday customs. Oh, and thanks for the answers in the comments a couple posts ago. I find it very interesting.

I put your e-mail in our address book so, if I do have any circumcision questions or anything like that, I'll ask them there. LOL Our e-mail is rtvelich at buckeye-express dot com. I know you'll have a hard time typing buckeye though so, I won't expect an e-mail from you! ;-)

Keep up the great running workouts! You're gonna groove on your marathon.

Oh, and I pray all goes smooth this weekend with the Passover dinner hostings. Make sure Mrs. Fox gets some wine as well. :)