Thursday, 12 April 2012

Secular Pesach Chumras

It's not surprising to me when Orthodox people come up with additional rules to top up the already overflowing cornucopia of restrictions that defines Orthodoxy: kitniyot,  gebrochts, a debate about quinoa - all part of the business. But, when otherwise secular people come up with pesach chumras (strictures), I sometimes do a double take. A good friend of mine, for example, has a "No Squishy Rule". On Passover, her family does not eat anything that's squishy. Kosher for Passover cake: out. Kosher for Passover matzoh balls: not at her house. Kasher Le Pesach bread: definitely out. As far as they're concerned, despite whatever the Orthodox Union might argue, these things are out of the question because they are not in the spirit of the story that makes bland overpriced crackers the star of the week.  (And, when I think about the origins of kitniyot: i.e. otherwise kosher for pesach items that were forbidden because of their resemblance to chometz, there's something that is very Jewish about the No Squishy Rule.) Mr. CL's rules about food are standard (I think!), but I have a hard time keeping up with dishes. We have three sets going now: milk, meat, and chometz for the baby. My understanding as of today is: the milk and meat can go in the dishwasher together, but the baby's chometz stuff can't go with the Pesach stuff, except bottles and her tray (on which milk,  meat, and chometz are consumed together). Capische?  There are some people who are very strict on the NO CHOMETZ rule, but lax about other things: e.g. a ham and cheese sandwich is fine . . .  as long  as its on matzah. Anyway, in this spirit,  blogger Ami Horowitz told me a funny story yesterday: 

I went to the [non Kosher] McDonald's by my office to pick up a large order for my staff. I started by saying 4 cheeseburgers (these sadly are being served on pesach rolls in Israel) and  I then ordered an Oreo McFlurry. The woman looked at me shocked and said "but that is chametz".  

I love our people. Even when they think my atheist Jewish congregation is absurd.

1 comment:

  1. >otherwise kosher for pesach items that were forbidden because of their resemblance to chometz,

    From my understanding, it has nothing to do with resemblence. It has to do with the farming land a long long long time ago in Jewish communities in Europe where a specific plot of land would be switched from one grain to another. BTW, an interesting note on why Moroccans do not eat rice is simply because the Rama's commentary (Ashkenazi Rabbi) to the Shulchan Aruch (codified law written by a Spharadi) reached Morocco for the first time. They simply accepted it not realizing the difference. They read the commentary and took it.

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