“Fasting on Yom Kippur is pretty much the only time i wish i eating Matzah on Passover.” – Unknown
I’ve always been the youngest person at my family’s Passover Seder.
My cousin just had a beautiful baby girl, so finally she will be the youngest! But until her baby teeth grow in and she learns to read Hebrew (or the English phonetics of the Hebrew on the right side of the page), the task of reading the four questions still falls directly in the middle of my Seder plate – beside the roasted shank bone and charoset, of course.
Being the youngest has some advantages though.
Like having that extra bit of post-meal stamina to search for the Afikoman or being able to zone out the prayers and the songs to fantasize about what Elijah really, actually, would look like if he stumbled through the door and plopped his tush down right next to me to split a chocolate drizzled macaroon. I’ve always pictured him to look like Adam Levine and have a nose like Owen Wilson.
This year, as my family is dipping their pinky fingers into a glass of Manischewitz to recount the 10 plagues, i’ll be riding the 6 train home from work to a tiny apartment on the east side of Manhattan that would send Moses back to the desert for another 40 years.
So since i won’t be there to read the four questions out loud, in my disheveled Hebrew that leaves me sounding like i have a mouth full of horseradish, I’ve decided to admit to you all what i think the REAL answers to the Passover questions are.
1. “Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?”
It was on sale tonight.
I bet many, many years ago, someone got a good deal on a box of matzoh. So instead of serving the challah or a nice piece of rye bread, they opened up a box of “zoh” and said eat your heart out. And at first, the kids screamed that this flat bread tasted more like cardboard or drywall than anything edible.
Which is why today, we mix it up and add it to scrambled eggs, or cover it with chocolate, or if you are like me, douse it in sauce and sprinkle on a little cheese and call it a pizza.
2. “Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?’
Someone’s Bubby probably bought bitter herbs instead of regular ones and used them to cook, leaving us all looking like we have brain freeze when we stick one of those herbs into our mouths.
Who wants to tell their 97-year old Bubby, the one who pinches your cheeks like she’s trying to squeeze toothpaste out of an old tube, that her herbs are no good.
Plus, we’d all prefer this over freezer burn pot-roast or fat free, sugar free, rugulah.
3.”Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?”
If you’ve ever sat through an entire Seder, you’ll know that by the time you finish Dayenu, you are so ready to stuff your face with whatever is nearest to you on the table. So we may dip once, twice, a few times – who really knows. Whatever it takes to get that belly stuffed up on anything but carbs.
4. “Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?”
Let’s be real.
When are we ever just “sitting” at a table during a holiday meal? We lean over each other before we just start screaming across the table or get up in the middle of a conversation to ask Aunt Miriam where she got her purple lipstick from. The only time anyone is reclining at the Passover table is when we’re only on page seven of the Haggadah and that’s because they are taking a snooze until it’s time to dig into the string beans.
If you’re reading this and know little to nothing about Passover – you’re so, totally in luck. There’s a really good educational video out there about the bread-less holiday called “Let My Babies Go – A Rugrats Passover“.