We at Chizuk Amuno have been busily preparing for Pesah. Not only have been focused inwards on our kitchens and homes but we have been focused outwards as well. Through Gemilut Hasadim and our Food Drive we collected 77 bags of food weighing 535 pounds. That food will help fulfill the command of the hagaddah that we will recite on Friday and Saturday nights, kol dichfin yetei ve yichol, let all who are hungry come and eat. The money collected for Maot Hittin will be donated to the Kosher Food pantries who do not accept gifts of actual food.
Once again I was proud to find that our congregation had more volunteers to be Seder hosts than Seder guests, meaning that so many people offered to open their homes to guests that we could not accommodate all the hosts. What a beautiful manifestation of the mitzvah of welcoming guests for Pesah.
With Passover only a few days away, I cannot count how many conversations I had about the new kitniyot (legumes) ruling. It’s been a delight to be a part of the serious discussions on the development of Jewish law and how our Pesah has evolved over the generations. For this year our family is still upholding our traditional Ashkenazi customs but I urge you to engage in the study and thinking for yourself to determine what would be a meaningful ethic for your Passover food practices.
Today someone asked me to what I was looking forward this Pesah. This year I am looking forward to old family recipes (my grandmother’s sponge cake – she always kept the egg shells on the counter until the cake came out of the oven, she said that made sure the cake wouldn’t fall) and new traditions (we are having the first part of our Seder in a “tent”.) I am looking forward to old family traditions (chol ha moed field trips like to the Zoo or Fort McHenry) and new recipes (cauliflower frittata and Passover gnocchi.)
I look forward to seeing you at Chizuk Amuno or around town on one of the days of Pesah and my family and I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday full of family memories new and old, delicious food, long nights of discussion around the Seder table, sunny spring days with matzah sandwiches eaten outside, and a good vacuum for all the crumbs!
A Zissen Pesah – have a sweet Passover.
Rabbi Debi Wechsler