Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Passover Partying

For one week during the year those of us who keep kosher go through an incredible series of actions in which we shun foods and foodstuffs that would normally pass muster. We stop ingesting "leavened" foods like bread and cakes which contain yeast or baking powder. This is so we can eat the thin unleavened, fairly tasteless matzahs that are required by rabbinic authority. Trust me. If it weren't for the fact that there is no way to get out of this, I'd be looking for some kind of loophole. But I have resigned myself to the fact that it is absolutely necessary. Now for those Jews who are not Orthodox, the holiday and all of its trimmings ends at sundown tonight. For those of us who do follow the Orthodox track, we have one more day (just like in "Les Miserables") day more! The day on Thursday is also a day when special memorial prayers for loved ones are read as well as a special rendering of "The Song at the Sea," the words and melody reportedly chanted in praise of the Almighty when the Red Sea split apart and Pharoah's army was drowned when it was rejoined. It reminds me of that story that was told about the seven-year-old who came home from Sunday School one afternoon. "What did you learn today?" asked the mother. "Well, we learned about the Red Sea," the youngster replied. "Oh?" she inquired, "Tell me about it." "Well, it was like this," her son continued. "When Moses and the Hebrew slaves were stuck at the Red Sea and Pharoah was charging at them, they looked to getting some help. They got Luke Skywalker and other Jedi knights to fight the chariots and the rest of the army." His mother looked puzzled. "They killed all of the men with their light sabers and then left, leaving Moses and the people all alone in the dessert," he said. "Are you sure about that?" the mother asked. "Is that what they told you in Sunday School?" "Well, maybe not, but I'm sure you wouldn't believe what they really told me," he admitted. That's the beautiful thing about faith and the New Orleans Saints. Sometimes you just gotta believe.

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