Passover

What do you eat at a Passover feast?

As a chef, I have a question pertaining to the traditional Passover meal. The traditional Seder dinner typically includes gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket or roast chicken, potato kugel and carrot and prune tzimmes. Now, we know that none of these foods originated in ancient Israel – they’re from a later period in Jewish...

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Reaching Joy

These past six months, since COVID-19 has dominated the headlines (with no end in sight), we have been called on to adjust, revise and improvise in both our personal and professional lives.  Thinking outside the box, hatching new ideas and implementing them has become a necessary tool for survival. Fortunately, there is no shortage of...

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4 Sons = 1 Man (or Woman)

As part of the Passover Seder (program) we speak of four sons, each of whom is found in Scripture.  They are described as the wise son, the evil son, the simple son, and the son who doesn’t know how to ask.  Each one’s questions, or lack of them, needs to elicit an individually crafted response...

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What do you eat at a Passover feast?

As a chef, I have a question pertaining to the traditional Passover meal. The traditional Seder dinner typically includes gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, brisket or roast chicken, potato kugel and carrot and prune tzimmes. Now, we know that none of these foods originated in ancient Israel – they’re from a later period in Jewish...

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The Ups and Downs of Freedom

During the administration of George W. Bush, I was privileged to be appointed to a presidential commission. I received a document that included something akin to the words, “power to execute the duties of this office.” Lopping off a few words, I tried to explain to my children that now, in the manner of the...

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Yet We Live

As human beings, we struggle to know ourselves; no matter how close we are to someone it is impossible to completely know another person. This is particularly true for our parents. When my friend, Naomi*, was sitting shiva (the Jewish week of mourning) for her mother, she discovered some flabbergasting news. Naomi’s father was her...

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Each Generation We Must See Ourselves

We are in the midst of Passover and I am delighted to be sharing the festival with so many children and grandchildren.  At the same time, that means that my computer and I haven’t seen a great deal of each other this week. My head is full of menus and cooking timetables, leaving little room...

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Problem or Progress?

Do you wear a watch? The answer to that question may depend on your age. You could say that watches are the new handkerchiefs. I rarely iron. Nonetheless, when I was a young girl my mother taught me to do so and the first items entrusted to my care were my father’s handkerchiefs. I remember...

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Matzoh, Money and Marriage

Here’s an unusual thought experiment: Imagine meeting a twenty-year-old man who is suffering from near total amnesia. He explains to you that he knows how to read and write, drive a car and live healthily, but has no idea at all of what he ought to be doing to prepare for successfully living the rest...

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Recite, Repeat, Rejuvenate

Very early in the Passover Seder we ask a question, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” followed by four examples of unusual behavior. This section is often inaccurately called “The Four Questions.” From there, we annually follow the same program, reading, singing and/or chanting the same words, eating the same foods and doing...

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