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Pesach miscellany

04/22/2011

It’s about this time every year – halfway through the dietary restrictions of Passover – that I realize I’m going to make it. True, I’m slightly bored with my culinary choices, but that’s only because we’re still partially living on Seder night #1 leftovers (the really good stuff being long gone) — but hey! Nothing terrible will happen if I don’t eat bread & pasta & tortilla chips for a few more days. And just as that thought runs through my head, I realize how ridiculously privileged & blessed I am to have to gripe about this in the first place.

So. In honor of the lessons taught by this holiday of liberation (in this case, from my own blind spots), I offer up the following Pesach miscellany for your entertainment.

1. This video of how the exodus would be tweeted, face-booked, etc. has been all over cyberspace, but perhaps you haven’t yet seen it. Very clever and brought to you by the folks at Aish (“fire”), whose hearts are in the right place but whose views on being a Jew are a bit traditional for my taste.

2. Want to know about the counting the Omer? We are taught to count from the night of the 2nd Seder through until Shavuot, the giving of the Law on Sinai. An omer is a measure of grain, which doesn’t really do much for me, though a countdown does — in this case, a spiritual preparation for the BIG THING. The kabbalists really dug this counting: here’s a modern version of how each day is a combination of 2 of the sephirot (countenances/attributes) of God. And (bonus!), it has a task you can perform to embody the combination. Today: tiferet of chesed, harmony in compassion. Offer a hand to a stranger. And if you’re interested in a meditation book along the same lines, check out Min Kantrowitz.

3. Another video that cracked me up. Not only for Passover. A remix of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” (that’s the polite version)(use your F-word imagination).

4. A shockingly good recipe for Passover apple cake. You’ll need potato starch & matzo meal. But no springform pan as is required by so many other cakes sans flour.

5. Oh, and this tip: if you beat your egg whites separately from the yolks, it makes the matzo balls unbelievably fluffy.

6. Three of my poems that pertain:

7.  A reminder that giving tzedakah / making-it-right charity is part of the holiday. Might I suggest Amnesty International, whose work is heavily about freeing those imprisoned for their beliefs? Just in time for the holidays, their lead story as of today is about the continued crackdown by the Egyptian security forces on those who question.
8. Apropos of my own privilege (and likely yours), I’m going to learn more about modern day slavery. Free the Slaves is an international organization whose work centers on all those who are enslaved, as workers, prostitutes, and soldiers. This might be a cure for my all-too-frequent whining.
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