Which Side of the Seder Plate?

WHICH SIDE OF THE SEDER PLATE?

Can the Easter Bunny visit next weekend we have an early soccer game that is causing a conflict?

Why don’t we petition to move Thanksgiving to a Saturday then schools would not have to work around the holiday break.

Here we are on spring break and there are tons of tweets and post on Facebook reflecting two important holidays this week.  I have seen some amazing Passover recipes and some delicious Easter desserts and menu plans.

As I mentioned in my first post, I was brought up in an interfaith household and raised to make my own decisions on religion.  I married into a Jewish family, though from the very beginning their Jewishness struck me as not quite the norm.  I think my Jewish Southern Baptist small town upbringing might have been more jewish.  I lit candles at hanukkah and on occasion candles burned for Sabbath and our Friday night dinners.  I was versed in all things jewish – bagels and lox, potato latkes, matzah brei, gefilte fish, and hamentashens.

How do you spawn from a NYC raised jewish mother and never had or been introduced to Borscht or Gefilte Fish?  Can you really call yourself jewish without having consumed these foods.  Do they allow you to be Bar Mitzvahed without eating lox? Of course  there are all levels of observation. Though I was perplexed having been invited for break fast our first year dating, when visiting after evening services on Yom Kippur and the family broke out their bowls for ice cream.  Sure I was not about to say no, but I had only twice during my college years fasted.  But I thought I was nontraditionalist, the partial Jew.

Turn the calendar forward several years and several grandchildren later.  Mr. Mixture and I have chosen to continue certain holiday traditions but the time had not yet come to discuss religious school for Little Miss Mixture.  We were asked to come to Seder at my in-laws but rather than on the first night of Passover we would celebrate the weekend before to accommodate out of town people.  I was taken aback.  Not sure what to say or how to prepare food.  I found it odd to change the holiday. Sure my family had held their “gift exchange” whenever convenient as we got older, but somehow in my mind it was totally different.  We no longer lit candles on a menorah or had a tree, it was just a family get together with gifts.

Was it different?

Could I be hypocritical?  Sure I can be because I am opinionated and we can all think our own thoughts.

Present day all grandchildren are school age and despite the grandparents best efforts all are being raised with minimal religion in the home.  So trying to continue traditions the Seder was again planned for prior to the actual holiday.  Time will tell as the children age and lives change, but this convenient Passover Seder has occurred three times now and each time I laugh about several things.

1. Okay now we had Seder. So do we eat anything we want for the next few nights until the holiday actually begins.  

Truth is I do not think anyone in the family keeps kosher for Pesach, but the question is still there.

2. Does our food need to be Kosher for Passover since it is not really Pesach as yet?

3. Why didn’t Elijah show up surely he is not busy since we must be the only people having Seder tonight.

For lack of a better thought right now Jesus you mean we were not the only people.  How did I miss that this was a new trendy occurrence. There is a whole debate on having Seder on convenient nights.  Similar to this article in The Washington Post I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing.

Passover makes a point of trying to teach us during the Seder.  We must pause and think about how ” this night is different from all others?”  Again the irony in the question if we are celebrating on nights convenient to us.  Why is this being done?  Is it really because as a society we are too busy to take the time to stop and celebrate when the calendar indicates?  Or should I be a little more stereotypically and ask is it because Jewish mothers will be Jewish mothers.  Thus the need to control and have everyone together to feed them.  I realize as families grow and move farther away from each other it is harder to celebrate as a family.  A family though can range in size and celebrating a holiday does not have to include the entire extended family.  Many people are having traditional Seders with friends and/ or families.  Teaching children traditions is important but are the families who are having “convenient” Seder’s stopping to think about this message they are teaching the children?

Should we expect the Santa watch on the news to start lasting multiple days to accommodate everyone’s schedule? 

This is not even what I planned to write about today.  I was going to write about % of Jews who keep Kosher for Passover.  We do not.  I have said it.  I am fine with this as it is my current choice and one day I may choose differently.  I do however expose my daughter to traditions and will allow her to form her own choices as she gets older.  I am not of the mindset to force religion and religious observances on her. Hmm pause that could be another Passover question.  Is that why people are having convenient Passover Seders? I have heard too many stories of that and they typically do not turn out as envisioned.

So enough of my abstract head rambling and thoughts here is what I sat down to write.

I had to laugh last night as I am sitting at Chipolte enjoying the South Florida air and the kids behind me are singing Dayenu.  It only lasts for about a minute of which I have to catch a glance.  Internally I am hysterical and comforted at the same time, as the mom is enjoying her burrito bowl and dad his burrito.  Clearly the mom was self conscious as she quieted the children stating” that is not a nice song to sing in public.”  I think she was flustered.

Are we bad Jews because we are enjoying our non kosher for Passover food.  

Should she feel this way?  I could have misread the situation, but it did strike a cord.

How many people keep kosher for Pesach?  Should we feel guilty for wanting to enjoy spring break without restrictions?  Should we fell guilty for moving the holiday?  Are these the same people having the convenient Passover Seder?  

Oddly I have to believe the number of people keeping kosher for Pesach has wained in recent years.  Though with all the gluten free and trendy paleo diets and what not there are so many more foods available and recipes around where one can keep kosher for Pesach and enjoy more than matzah and brisket.

How do you feel about when Seder should be held?  

What are your thoughts on keeping Kosher for Pesach?  

 

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