The In-between days of Passover: Hol Hamoed

We are now in Hol Hamoed, the intermediate days of Passover. Since the day(s) of Seder are past many people want to go back to a regular diet that includes chametz (leavened foods like most bread.)  If the week of Passover is a burden to you it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing, why and how you feel about it.

If the meaning of Passover is just the Seder and that’s done, then it is time to toss out the rest of the holiday and get back to everyday life.

But before you do that consider whether living with the magical tension of the in-between days might be worth something. What if you continued to avoid leavened foods and therefore had to be aware of what you eat? What if you used this constant alertness to just ponder what you eat, where food comes from, who works to get it to you, and people who are not so fortunate?  What if you took it further and spent the week as an observer of your life and the life of those around you? What do you really NEED? What do they really NEED? How is your being on this planet making life better for others? What if you did something more?

A few years ago I went to a talk by Ijeoma Oluo, the author of So You Want to Talk about Race.  An audience member asked, “What can white people do to help?” She said, “Give money to people of color! The beggar, someone starting a business, your babysitter!”  Some of the audience was discomforted by that. But it made abundant sense to me. How much money have we white people taken from or kept from people of color? Yes, we owe it. What if you took this week to think outside the box about liberation and how you could inch freedom forward?

It’s just a thought. I’d love to know what you all think about this. Please email me and tell me.

Is it hard to get a decent meal without yeast foods?
Honestly, no, it’s not.  There are ALL the fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and meat that you like (except legumes).

Then there are all the adaptations that Ashkenazi Jews have made with matzah. From matzah pizza to lasagna to PBJ on a slab of matzah, all your favorites can probably be adapted.

Have you noticed that desserts seem to be a weak spot? Without leavening many folks feel that a cake can’t be any good. But the world of gluten free eating will prove otherwise. Personally, my daughter’s birthday often falls in the week of Passover and I’ve collected quite a few good recipes. There’s always flourless chocolate cake.  I’m not big on chocolate; I prefer nuts and fruit so this recipe for Passover Almond Cake with Strawberry Compote is my newest favorite.

I have pages and pages of recipes if you go to my website and search for “Passover”.

Back to Yeast
I want to suggest a new-to-America Jewish holiday, Mimouna. It’s origins are from Morocco and it is celebrated the day after Passover.  I think pizza and beer are a modest way to start embracing this holiday, but you could go further and have some delicious Middle Eastern treats.

A few resources for you
If you were interested in my class on Honoring Your Jewish Child’s Non-Jewish Heritage but couldn’t make it, you can view it on YouTube. I stopped the recording so that people could share personal questions. If you have questions, just contact me.

I watched a fascinating talk by an Iraqi-Israeli man who is a story teller, An Evening with Yossie Alfi. Heads up! The action doesn’t begin until 25 minutes in, so just jump forward.

If you are curious about the history of Jews in Kiev sign up for this free class, Kiev: Jewish Metropolis, online May 5 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm presented by New Lehrhaus.

Posted in Passover
Published on April 21st, 2022