The angel of leavened carbs passed over the Yenta family Tuesday evening in its very traditional forms of pizza and beer, as I believe that the ancient Israelites would be deeply honored with the collective choice of pepperoni and banana peppers.
For those who don’t celebrate, you may have heard the sighs of relief as your Jewish friends are freed from the bondage of gastric torture known as matzah. For eight days we abstained from anything fluffy, including bread, popcorn and, if you are sleeping on the sofa at your bubbie’s house, a decent pillow. (According to the very kvetchy Yenta Boy, anyway.)
While us meshuggneh Jews tend to make up plenty of exceptions (like that pepperoni) as we go along, we follow the rules as best we can. The rabbis dictate that before the seder, we gather up all of the bread, crackers, yeast packets, granola bars and other crummy items from the pantry and throw them out.
Well, no one likes to waste good food, so those rabbis figured out how to get around that rule by “selling” the offending items in order to rid the house of all the chametz. After the holiday, you can buy it back and get back down to the business of a nice corned beef sandwich. I usually pack up everything in plastic bags and “sell” our chametz to our very confused Southern Baptist neighbors. Last year they fed it all to the neighborhood squirrels.
There are a lot complicated issues around this that give me a headache. This morning I learned that even though it is after Passover, bread bought from Target, Trader Joe’s and a bunch of other stores isn’t recognized by kosher authorities until after Lag B’Omer because those stores didn’t sell their chametz. So even though Lag B’Omer is basically ignored by Reform Judaism, apparently the box of raisin crackers I snarfed last night with Trader Joe’s cambozola is a treyf as that pepperoni pizza.
It’s all just too much. Especially since our chametz never made it off our front porch.