Pesach / Passover Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on Pesach-Passover.


Blogs

Lag B’Omer & Vegetarianism (or Veganism): Making Every Day Count

By Daniel Brook & Richard H. Schwartz Lag B’Omer is considered a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but even a minor holiday is worth celebrating. A great way to celebrate Lag B’Omer is through veganism, as Lag B’Omer is deeply connected to veganism. If not quite ready for veganism, a shift to vegetarianism would be a great initial step. Lag B’Omer represents the 33rd day of the counting of the omer, the fifty days from Passover and Shavuot, reminding us of the link between these two holidays. While Passover celebrates our freedom from slavery, Shavuot ...

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Passover and Earth Day

This year, the first night of Passover and the annual Earth Day both occur on April 22nd. Hence, this is a good time to consider environmental messages related to Passover and the events and concepts related to the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt: 1. Today's environmental threats can be compared in many ways to the Biblical ten plagues: When we consider the threats to our land, water, and air, we can easily enumerate ten modern "plagues." For example: (1) acid rain (2) depletion of the ozone layer (3) destruction of tropical rain forests (4) global warming ...

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Passover and Vegetarianism

Passover and vegetarianism? Can the two be related? After all, what is a seder without gefilte fish, chicken soup, chopped liver, chicken, and other meats? And what about the shankbone to commemorate the Paschal sacrifice? And doesn't Jewish law mandate that Jews eat meat to rejoice on Passover and other Jewish festivals? An increasing number of Jews are turning to vegetarianism and they are finding ways to celebrate vegetarian Passovers while being consistent with Jewish teachings. For many years, Jonathan Wolf, a Jewish vegetarian activist, has had up to 50 people at ...

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Inconsistencies in Passover Eating

It seems strange that Jews go to great lengths on the festival of Passover to observe Torah verses commanding us to avoid some foods, while ignoring other scriptural verses relevant to the consumption of other foods. Among the features of Passover are the prohibitions of eating, owning or benefiting from chometz, foods such as breads, cakes and cereals that are made from one of the five grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats) that have undergone fermentation as the result of contact with liquid. These prohibitions are based on several Torah verses and are treated ...

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GREENING YOUR PASSOVER

Passover celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.  It is also rooted in the agricultural cycle of the year. Passover usually coincides with the beginning of spring. Passover references a time when our ancestors were more connected on a daily basis to the natural world.  To become more connected to the Earth and go “eco friendly” for this holiday, consider following all or some of the tips below: Help the environment by reducing waste as you empty your home of chametz (leavened foods such as breads, pastas, etc).  Give leftover bread ...

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70+ Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet

Dear chevra, By April 30, 2014, more than 70 Rabbis and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed this Call. Now we appeal to all members of the Jewish community to join in this effort. To do so, please click to: <https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=11&reset=1> We — Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders — call upon Jewish households, congregations, seminaries, communal and denominational bodies, and other institutions: Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet. In the ancient tradition ...

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Preparing to Count the Omer

We are counting down the days to Passover, to our journey out of slavery and into freedom. And then, on the second night of Passover, we will begin counting in a serious way, we will begin counting the Omer. With the Counting of the Omer count seven weeks of seven days - 49 days - from crossing into freedom to receiving the Torah, from redemption to revelation, from Passover to Shavuot, from the Sea of Reeds to the Mountain of Sinai, from the depths of despair to the heights of joy, from physical enslavement to spiritual freedom, from the barley harvest ...

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The Seder’s Innermost Secret — Charoset: Earth & Eros in the Passover Celebration

There it sits on the Seder plate: charoset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: "Why is there charoset on the Seder plate?" That's the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. The Haggadah explains about matzah, the bread so dry it blocks your insides for a week. The Haggadah explains about the horse-radish so bitter it blows the lid off your lungs and makes breathing so painful you wish ...

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Freeing Ourselves at Passover From Diets That Harm Us and Our Planet

Some Jews commendably go to extraordinary lengths before and during Passover to avoid certain foods, in keeping with Torah mitzvot. But at the same time, many continue eating other foods that, by Torah standards, are hardly ideal. On Passover, Jews are prohibited from eating, owning, or otherwise benefiting from chometz, foods such as breads, cakes, and cereals, that are made from one of the five grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats) that ferment from contact with liquid. These prohibitions are based on several Torah verses and are observed with great care by ...

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Environmental Connections to Passover

Environmental Connections to Passover By Richard H. Schwartz In view of the many current environmental crises that face the world today, this is a good time to consider environmental messages related to Passover and the events and concepts related to the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt: 1. Today's environmental threats can be compared in many ways to the Biblical ten plagues: * When we consider the threats to our land, water, and air, we can easily enumerate ten modern "plagues". For example: (1) global warming (2) rapid melting ...

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The Plight of Farm Workers

A few nights ago my wife and I watched a really intense episode of Law and Order SVU which focused on a disturbed couple who abused young children and used them as indentured farm laborers. My wife, who is a doctoral student in food policy at Rutgers University then emailed me the following link about a topic we have discussed several times over the past few years: http://www.npr.org/2011/07/09/137623954/the-troubled-history-of-the-supermarket-tomato. This book reveals disturbing details related to conditions in which farm workers often operate, something ...

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White House Arrests; Bitter Herb, Matzah, & Healing Climate

Yesterday (March 21, 2013), along with 14 other religious folk, clergy and committed "laity," I was arrested for standing at the White House with Bitter Herb and Matzah, signs and songs, reciting the names of more than 100 people who had been killed by one result of the climate crisis: Superstorm Sandy. The action was organized by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, of which The Shalom Center is a vigorously active member. We were calling on the president to act swiftly to heal our Mother Earth from the climate crisis, from the plagues that modern Pharaohs -- Big ...

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The Festival of Freedom #Pesach #AltBreak

Post by Faryn Hart, Group Leader for #AltBreak 2013 in New Orleans ————————————————————————————————— March seems to be a busy time in New Orleans. The days are long and perfectly warm, the streets are full with beads and lawn chairs for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Super Sunday, and colleges throughout the country bring throngs of students on Service ...

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Greening Passover

Passover celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom. It is also rooted in the agricultural cycle of the year and coincides this year with the beginning of spring. It references a time when our ancestors were more connected on a daily basis to the natural world. To become more connected to the Earth and go “eco friendly” for this holiday, consider following all or some of the tips below: Help the environment by reducing waste as you empty your home of chametz (leavened foods such as breads, pastas, etc). Give leftover ...

Read More


Passover and Vegetarianism

Passover and Vegetarianism By Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D. Passover and vegetarianism? Can the two be related? After all, what is a Seder without gefilte fish, chicken soup, chopped liver, chicken, and other meats? And what about the shank bone to commemorate the paschal sacrifice? And doesn't Jewish law mandate that Jews eat meat to rejoice on Passover and other Jewish festivals? An increasing number of Jews are turning to vegetarianism and are finding ways to celebrate vegetarian Passovers, while being consistent with Jewish teachings. Contrary ...

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Environmental connections to Passover

Environmental Connections to Passover By Richard H. Schwartz In view of the many current environmental crises that face the world today, this pre-Passover period is a good time to consider environmental messages related to the holiday and the events and concepts related to the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt: 1. Today's environmental threats can be compared in many ways to the Biblical ten plagues: * When we consider the threats to our land, water, and air, we can easily enumerate ten modern "plagues". For example: (1) climate ...

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The New Plague: A Name Change for Climate Change

After reading the following article, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/environment/Climate-Change-Panel-Says-Expect-More-Extreme-Weather--144966925.html, titled “Climate Change Panel Says Expect More Extreme Weather,” it is hard not to make the immediate connection to the story of Pesach. “The 594-page report is the work of 220 authors from 62 countries. It cites thousands of scientific studies. Enough is known, the editors say, to make good decisions about how to manage risks of climate-related disasters.” It discusses the ...

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Breaking Free from the Fossil-Fuel Pharaoh

The photovoltaic solar-panel array at Kibbutz Ketura is the first and currently only of its kind in Israel. (Photo by David Krantz) KIBBUTZ KETURA, Israel — During the first ever Passover we left Egypt and slavery, celebrating our freedom in the wilderness. It’s easy to forget that back then this stretch of the Arava Valley, a half-hour up the road from the hotels of Eilat, wasn’t part of the biblical Promised Land. No, this part of southern Israel was wilderness — our ancestors wandered through here after the ...

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Cleaning and Greening Our “House” for Passover

In the days before Passover, Jews around the world traditionally spend time cleaning and checking our homes for “chametz” – leavened foods forbidden during the holiday. It is also traditionally a time for soul searching, for clearing out old “stuff” and ways of doing things. During this season of renewal, we at Teva Ivri are finding ways to check not only our homes but also our “houses of prayer.” Along with the Council for a Beautiful Israeland Green Now, Teva Ivri has just announced the first “Greenest ...

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Curiosity = Freedom?

As we move towards Passover, we journey through the narrow places (mitzrayim) of Winter into the open, lush landscape of Spring. We can feel the season working its magic: the more time we spend outside, the more Spring does to us what it does to the cherry blossom trees! As we read in the Hagaddah (the Passover seder story), we are asked to celebrate our freedom and to remember: "Today, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free." The Exodus is a story of our past, but it is relevant today - for one, it's time to explore how we can more fully experience ...

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