Here Comes That “Weird No-Bread Holiday”

user submitted posted this hilarious essay by the self-effacing Steve Hofstetter about keepin’ Pesach while everyone else on campus is partying with their Wonder bread and Twinkies, not to mention that ubiquitous beverage of yeast, barley and hops
(all verboten): “Waving beer in front of a Jew on Passover is like waving a donut in front of a fat guy on a diet.”
On a related note that we almost—almost— forgot because we no longer enjoy the long, lazy afternoons of being a stoner college student, today is 4/20, which surely means something to these guys.

ISO A Wheat-Free Seder?

No Matzo Studies suggest that as many as one in 250 people suffer from gluten sensitivity (also known as coeliac disease), an immunological disorder that puts everything from pizza to matzo on the forbidden foods list. Thank heavens for Jmerica’s resident nutritionist Emily Bender, who has offered up some tasty matzo meal-free alternatives for Passover! also suggests oat or spelt-based matzos for a gluten-free seder table; available by special order.
For more information about gluten, wheat and other food sensitivities, start here.

And You Thought It Was Just Child’s Play

user submitted pictureThe art of Maurice Sendak is the subject of a new exhibition at The Jewish Museum, where visitors can peruse the 140 original drawings, posters, theater sets and costumes produced from Sendak’s designs (partial online gallery here) as well as snuggle into a gallery transformed into the jungle inspired by Max’s room in Where The Wild Things Are. (And what kid, grown-up or not, has not dreamed of that?)
Sendak, born in 1928 to Jewish immigrants, has been working with playwright Tony Kushner on an intense children’s book/opera called Brundibar that, rather than answering the questions of life through art, has only brought more questions for Sendak. While one might think writing for children capricious, “he now feels that we can never truly overcome our own demons, never tame ‘the wild things.’”
Well. That’s depressing. But his illustrations always make us smile and we’ll definitely be checking out the exhibit when we take a field trip to Manhattan next month.

Lyonne On The Lam

user submitted picture*tsk*tsk*tsk…Jewish actess Natasha Lyonne either forgot her appointment with a New York judge yesterday because she was too busy driving drunk through the streets or she just doesn’t care that a warrant has been issued for her arrest. The American Pie star was charged with criminal mischief, harassment and trespassing after “an unexplained fit of rage” (PMS? Hangover? Lost out on an audition to Natalie Portman?) last December when police said she went apesh*t in her neighbor’s apartment, ripped a mirror from the wall and threatened to sexually molest the neighbor’s dog.
C’mon, Natasha, get it together! Sure, lots of celebs recover their careers from the ashes of bad publicity, but do you really want to go down in the Hollywood annals as the girl who went to jail for attempted rape of a canine?

Passover Head Trip

user submitted pictureThose lucky enough to attend the Palm Beach International Film Festival got a sneak peek at what promises to be history’s most hilarious Passover comedy, When Do We Eat? “The story of the ‘world’s fastest Seder; gone horribly awry, it’s about an old school dad (Michael Lerner) who’s as tough on his sons as his father (Jack Klugman) is on him. On this night, however, one of the boys (Ben Feldman) slips Dad a dose of LSD in order ‘to give him a new perspective.'”
We never tire of films about dysfunctional Jewish families who find compassion and understanding through heartfelt dialogue and drug use. Honestly, who hasn’t wanted to dose an uptight relative or two at interminable family gatherings?
When Do We Eat? remains in Hollywood distribution never-land and will probably not be in a theater near you by Passover, but the official site is definitely worth checking out.

Heavy Metal Chasid

user submitted pictureGrowing up in suburbia exposed us to the disturbing phenomenon of Christian heavy metal, its followers all skeezed out with big hair and bigger crosses. We’ve always thought religious lyrics backed by screaming guitars and thrashing drums sounded kinda silly, but now that we’ve heard about David Lazzar, Montreal’s heavy rockin’ Lubavitcher, it all makes sense. (Thanks to SomethingJewishUK for the tip!) Lazzar describes his music as “Ozzy meets Metallica at an Iron Maiden concert,” presumably without the bat-eating and alcoholic raging. The tracks “I Want My Rebbe” and “I Believe In You” definitely smack of early Metallica, but if you don’t listen to the words carefully you might think you happened upon a Stryper fan site. Metalheads: Give a listen and tell us what you think.
If you’re more into traditional Jewish music that rips, check out our latest feature on NY’s klezmer maniacs Golem!
“Too Much Rock For One Hand” T-shirt logo from Smacdesign.

Seder Guest Gets Lame Counsel

user submitted pictureWe came across an advice column called The God Squad in the ]local paper of Allentown, PA that poses the following question for its non-Jewish readers:
Q: My daughter has been invited to attend a Passover seder at her best friend’s house. Is there something I could send with her that traditionally goes with Passover? For example, if she were going to an Easter dinner, I might send a lily.

The God Squad’s answer (condensed, our italics): The first thing to ask is if her friend’s family keeps a kosher house. If they do, then bringing any kind of food would be out of the question. A bouquet of flowers is nice, but Jewish tradition considers cut flowers an affectation of luxury and so prohibits them at certain rituals. A potted plant would be nice, though a tree might be a bit much. Even if the family does not keep kosher, it’s still wrong to bring food that is not kosher (anything made with yeast or other forbidden foods) for Passover. Many chocolate shops have kosher Passover candy that they make or sell boxed. Of course, you could combine the two ideas by bringing a chocolate potted plant.

A chocolate potted plant?! *sigh*. Goyim.
God Squad, let us correct ya on how to be a mensch-y Passover guest: A nice bouquet is always appreciated. (Except for carnations. Too WASP-y.) Last we checked in with the Lexus-driving, bling-adorned members of our temple, affectations of luxury are nowhere near “against Jewish tradition.”