Last night, Passover ended. We kept kosher for Passover, mostly. Marc made it all the way thru the week, as per usual. Jessie made it all the way thru as well, with the notable exception of Easter. As she explained it, she likes to keep kosher for Passover, except for Easter at Grammy’s house. Sam did pretty well until the last day, as did Julie – when they both started crying because they wanted pancakes and noodles.
I don’t keep kosher for Passover. I don’t want to. Not just because I don’t want to eat matzoh and not eat noodles, but for me, deprivation isn’t inherently a spiritual thing. I just feel… mad when I try to keep kosher for Passover, like I’m being forced into a behavior that has no meaning for me. So this year, I decided to not agonize over it, not to worry and panic about it. I just simply would observe Passover the way it felt right for me, and do my best to support my kids and husband to do the same.
One of the most attractive things about Judaism is the idea that it’s a relationship between the individual and the Divine. I’m well aware that not all Jews perceive that relationship the way that I do, and there are a lot of the 613 mitzvahs that don’t make any logical sense – and there’s meaning behind that as well. Many of the mitzvahs are easy to understand, like visiting the sick, honoring the elderly, lovingkindness. Some of them are mitzvahs make no logical sense, like not wearing linen and wool at the same time. For me, the avoidance of wheat products is one of those. There is also the element, for me, of needing Judaism to be an addition to my life. I want Judaism to be a blessing, and not something that represents loss. It’s a personal thing, and has a lot to do with my relationship with my own family. I didn’t want to lose that connection by converting to Judaism, and in my head, giving up bread and observing Passover in a strict, traditional way brings up a lot of baggage that has a lot more to do with that and not just Passover.
I know that there are people who find it enormously meaningful to observe the holiday of Passover in the traditional way, but I’m not one of them. I celebrate Passover by adding matzoh into my diet. By attending or hosting Seders and by supporting my husband and kids in observing it however they personally feel it should be observed. For Marc, it’s absolute – he abstains from all that he’s supposed to and is perfectly content with it. Jessie observes it fairly strictly as well. Sam is, thus far, less interested in observing it strictly, and Julie flat out hates it. She kept insisting that we had already DONE Passover and why couldn’t she have pizza?
I ate a LOT of matzohbrie – and I gave myself a free pass to take my little self out whenever I wanted. We kept a kosher-for-Passover house, and every meal I served was right in line with Passover rules. I had lots of appropriate snacks for the kids, and didn’t eat anything that wasn’t kosher for Passover in front of them.
And tonight, I’ve got bread rising in the oven, and a big pot of noodles and sauce for dinner.