Passover and the Foods we eat(or don't)

Posted by: "Shalom" Stacey(aka Stacey Herman) on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:00:00 am


Pizza. Pasta. Bread. Cake. Cookies. Muffins.

These are all forbidden foods we cannot eat at Passover.  Just the thought that they are forbidden might make some of us crave them even more.

Gefilte fish.  Matzah.  Charoset.  Matzah. Parsley. Matzah.

Foods we eat at Passover.

What is the point of these dietary restrictions? Why must we deny ourselves some of our favorite foods during the 8 days of Pesach?  Why can’t we go out to restaurants?

Of course there is the standard reason that the Jews escaped from Egypt and didn’t have time to wait for their bread to rise.  But who really empathizes with these Jews of long ago?  And we free, so why can’t we eat what we want?  How can we educate our children so they understand our food restrictions with better compliance?Traditional Seder Plate

Matzah is known as “Poor Man’s Bread”, using limited ingredients of flour and water and baked in a minimum amount of time (18 minutes).  We are instructed to eat matzah to celebrate our redemption from slavery. 

Jewish people comprise a small percentage of the overall population, living all over the world. Feeling a connection to Judaism and other Jewish people is extremely important when living in the Diaspora.  L’Dor V’Dor- From Generation to Generation.    It can be difficult to uphold Passover traditions when the rest of your neighborhood and friends are eating other foods prohibited as Passover.  But it is important to follow traditions -- even when they can be difficult -- that connect us to a larger group.  Jewish people survived Egyptian slavery, the Canaanites in Israel, the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, the Syrians (commemorated by Chanukah), the destruction of the Second Temple, the Holocaust and continue to battle anti-Semitism.   Let’s remember how strong and resilient the Jewish people are.  We continue to thrive and our children must continue to pass down our Jewish traditions.

I like to imagine all of the Jews around the globe, from New York City to Oklahoma to Hong Kong to Israel, all eating matzah .  We are all following the same Seder, the same “order”. I like to think of Jews 100 years ago, and 100 years in the future performing the same rituals.  And this is why we eat matzah for 8 days.

Please share your favorite Passover Recipes with us.


Enjoy and Happy Passover!!

Passover Granola Snack Mix                 

Combine:     5 cups Matzah Farfel
                   2 cups Shredded Coconut
                   2 cups Sliced Almonds

Put on cookie sheet in oven for about 20 minutes until toasted at 325 degrees.

Combine:     1 stick of butter
                      ½ cup brown sugar
                      ½ cup honey
                       1 teaspoon salt
                       4 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat wet ingredients in sauce pot until melted and combined.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients, spread back onto cookie sheet and put in oven for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Let cook and break apart and put in air tight container to store.  You can add choc chips, raisins, marshmallows, etc. when cool


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