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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Kosher for Passover Bagels and Beer?

Today's Blog will be similar to a Passover Seder. There will be a lot of storytelling going on. Lucky for you, my buddies tell me I spin a good yarn. Then again, maybe they were telling me a story.

When I was growing up my Mom, Clara Sambur (May She RIP) was the kosher keeper of the Sabbath flame. She made sure we adhered to the strict Jewish dietary rules (the kashrut). We had two sets of dishes, one for meat products, the other for diary. Our beef and poultry were purchased from a kosher butcher. (The animals were slaughtered in a traditional  kosher manner). You would never find a morsel of treif (non kosher food) in the Sambur household. Not under Clara Sambur's watch! 

Our religious convictions went far beyond food though. We attended Temple services regularly. My two brothers and I all went through the Bar Mitzvah process at the tender age of thirteen. At one stage of my life I was able to read Hebrew. We observed the High Holy Days, Purim, Chanukah and of course Passover (Pesach). 

When my Mother's flame was snuffed out at a relatively young age (she was 52, I was 17), the remaining Sambur's were left without a Guardian at the Gate. My two older brothers had already left the nest. Sid (my father) was dealing with being a widower. On my own, I drifted away from the religious aspect of Judaism. 

Back to Passover. Of all the Jewish holidays, this one is my favorite. I compare Passover to Thanksgiving. (Minus the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys playing football). You get together with family, friends and strangers and eat too much, sing a few Hebrew songs, kibitz (chat), drink four glasses of bad wine, read from the Haggadah (the Passover text about the Exodus) and laugh a lot. It's pretty much guilt free. 

Well, I thought it was guilt free until I Googled the definition of Chametz (non kosher for Passover foods including all fermented grains and beer!) Yikes! 

From Wikipedia: According to Jewish law, Jews may not own, eat or benefit from chametz during Passover. This law appears several times in the Torah; the punishment for eating chametz on Passover is the divine punishment of kareth ("spiritual excision"), one of the severest levels of punishment in Judaism. 

OY! I don't follow the rules of Chametz. I haven't since I was 17. No lightning bolt has struck me so far, although now I wonder if the sedan that whacked me on my bicycle was a steel messenger from Yahweh. Nope, I won't go there. My God is a bagel and beer-navolent Supreme Being. I'm hoping he/she overlooks my dietary transgressions for the next 7-8 days. 

I am a pretty good cultural Jew, just not an observant one. Look at my Blog's name. Doesn't that say something about me? 

Happy Passover! 

To all my Christian friends, may you enjoy a very Happy Easter. 

Cheers!
Jeff

See in photo two, I even hung a mezuzah in Barley the Van. There's a piece of parchment inside it with a Jewish prayer. 
Thannks Rosie for the gift that makes me smile.
Photo Three is the Keeper of the Flame.

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