Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Passover

I took a few days off from blogging to celebrate Passover. Passover is a holiday observed entirely in the home. Jews who don't keep kosher, who don't observe the Sabbath, who may only go to synagogue twice a year, still celebrate Passover enthusiastically. It's a wonderful holiday. We have a sumptuous meal, and re-tell the story of the exodus from Egypt, praising God for helping us escape from Egypt. Since we drink four cups of wine in it, there is usually great merriment associated with it.

Passover lasts for eight days. It's traditional to have two seders on the first two nights of Passover. Mostly, people hold their own on one day, and visit someone else's seder on the other day. For all eight days, we are prohibited from eating anything that is leavened. There are also other restrictions, based on where your family comes from. Ashkenazic Jews (from eastern Europe) don't eat rice, while Sephardic Jews (from the Mediterranean) do eat rice.

So, we eat a lot of matzah, which is basically a cracker. It's absolutely tasteless, and we all love it. Every time we bite into a matzah, we recall all the joy of Passover. It's a testament to the power of classical conditioning.

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