Yes, the times are hard, and people are getting sick and people are losing their loved ones… and dying. This is not the time for lightheartedness, it seems. But my father, who spent 10 years in GULAG, always said, “Nothing makes life better than a good joke, even under the most terrible circumstances”. My mother, who had survived the Nazis and rarely agreed on anything with my dad, seconded him, “You need to cheer yourself up in hardship.”
So here it goes.
Since I got familiar with the holiday of Passover, rather late in life, I always imagined the Jews getting out of Egypt with nice cardboard packs of matzos, hot pots of chicken soup with matzo balls, some glass jars of gefilte fish, tins of coconut macaroons and, kashrut notwithstanding, a few nice tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese. Those must have been really tightly packed bags. Some bread of affliction, seriously…
Now, my quite sedentary life and the despotic rule of the scale made me decisively shy away from carbs. It has been years since I indulged in a bagel or croissant. The only serious carb I let myself have is the weekly couple slices of challah at my daughter’s Shabbat table. She makes her own challah, and it tastes like life and love, and sunshine and feels like a cool pillow when you are tired.
But this is only once a week. And here comes this holiday, complete with Manischewitz goodies, the wine, the fish, the macaroons and, of course, the matzos.
So crisp, so amazingly crunchy and I will have it EVERY day. Not just that, I will have it with cream cheese. And you know that taste, the crispy crunchy matzos and the creamy cream cheese, just a bit salty, melting under your bite, caressing your tongue? Yeah, that… Yum, right? So different from the rest of the year.
And that is why I call Passover my personal holiday of indulgence.
Pesach Sameach on Zoom, my friends! Next year – face-to-face!