As a solid breakfast lover, you would think that Passover would be hard. The drastic reduction of flour in my diet does impact my morning meals, and there may be a little withdrawal period the first couple of days…but it’s worth it.
If you are unfamiliar, Passover (also known as Pesach) is a spring holiday that falls around the same time as Easter. Jews celebrate our Exodus from Egypt, and our escape from slavery. If you have seen The Ten Commandments with Charleston Heston, you get the basic gist.
Passover to me is like Thanksgiving. We get the opportunity to appreciate what we have been given. We give up Chametz (leavened bread) to honor the fact that our freedom came hastily, and we had to book it before the actual tide turned. I personally have five aspects of my annual Passover celebration that I appreciate and help me take in an internalize this oh-so-important time in the Jewish year.
1.) MATZO BREI
Yes, I am starting with breakfast (I am still me, after all). You take a piece of matzo, mix it with an egg, scramble or fry it up, and top it with preserves. It is delicious.
2.) COUNTING THE OMER
The celebration that follows Passover is Shavuot—which is celebrated as a harvest festival, but also as the day on which God handed down the Torah (aka Old Testament) to the nation of Israel. It is also a method of counting the barley harvest; the idea was we count it off for seven weeks (as described in Leviticus) and then bring forth some of the harvest as a sacrifice. While that’s no longer a thing, we still count as a way to commemorate that as well as the gift of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It’s a sustain spiritual expression, and I like it.
3.) CULINARY EXPERIMENTATION
When you remove flour and bread from your diet, it opens up a whole world of gluten-free cooking, which I enjoy. Passover taught me at almond flour chocolate chip cookies are just as delicious, that cauliflower crust is awesome, and the matzo munch is life. (HINT: You can make it with saltines, too!)
4.) READING THE HAGGADAH
Traditionally, a seder is held the first and second night of Passover; this is the official meal of this holiday. The Haggadah is a book/pamphlet that outlines the order of the Seder. It tells the whole story of the exodus from Egypt. We read, eat, drink some wine, and remember where we came from.
5.) UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LIKE MOSES
While these are in no particular order, this one is my favorite. All of us, no matter our faith, find ourselves in situations that are not ideal and that we wish to escape. The story of Moses is such an important reminder that we are all called to something more…so long as we listen. There have been lots of pharaohs in my life, trying to keep me from my best self. I know in my life I have encountered metaphorical burning bushes telling me something I needed to know. Sometimes I listened, something I just walked away. This time of year always reminds me that we all have the power inside of us to break free from what binds us, and that power is inside us. We can all be a little like Moses if we tune into ourselves and just listen to what we need to hear (rather than what we want).
I wish you all a happy spring holiday season! May it be one of miracles and hope!
Fridays are for high fives! Every Friday, stop by to see five of my favorite somethings! Click here to see past Friday High Fives!
Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest!