Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Passover for The Carb Inclined

For those who are not familiar with Judaism or do not live in Miami or New York (in other words about 2 of you) Passover is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Jews fleeing Egypt. Because they left in such a hurry, they weren’t able to let their bread rise and so now, every year for a week, Jewish people are supposed to remember them and eat no other grains but this stuff called Matzoh. For those of you who have never tried Matzoh and do not live in a city that sells it (and I could write an entire blog post about trying to find it at the Piggly Wiggly outside Camp LeJeune, NC) go down to your nearest construction site, find a piece of plywood and take a bite. If you add salt, it may be preferable.

Passover is the absolute worst week of the year for me. I am a carb freak, and limiting what grains I can eat makes me one of the most unbearable people you will ever meet. Last Passover, I punched my friend in the stomach when we were at a Taco shop and he was rubbing in my face what he could eat and I couldn’t. By the 6th day, I snapped at my great-aunt Hilda when she suggested we go to a deli that “I can’t eat fucking bread. Why the fuck would I go there?” So, after years of trying to follow the strict laws of Passover, I have decided that my interpersonal relationships are far more important than interpreted law, and I am making my own rules.

I say interpreted law since a lot of the rules about avoiding such foods as refined rice bran powder were made up by a bunch of guys in beards sitting around in Brooklyn somewhere and not handed down by God. Because I know Moses was not standing there as the Hebrew’s fled Egypt going “Hey, we don’t have time to refine corn syrup here, people, let’s move!” Being the half-assed Jew that I am, I present to you some foods I have been enjoying since sundown last Wednesday, and why I believe God would have no problem with my eating them:

RICE – Okay, first of all, there is absolutely no mention of rice in the story of exodus that I can remember. As a matter of fact, I am pretty damn sure the Hebrews brought sacks and sacks of it with them, as it is a staple food and relatively cheap. Also, how on Earth were they supposed to eat Chinese food on Sunday with no rice? It just doesn’t make sense. If they had it, I’m sure they brought it and enjoyed plenty. Once they found water.

CORN – Corn is a new world grain, plain and simple. Wasn’t really used before the 15th century. Would the Hebrews have had time to bring it with them had it existed? Who knows? One can only speculate, and I’m speculating that if those Jews were anything like me, they are all about tacos and corn chips. And when was the alst time you saw somebody leavening a tortilla? And what about corn-fed beef? Would that be off limits too? We can go down this slippery slope forever about a grain that wasn’t even known to the people fleeing the desert. Therefore, when it comes to lunch during Passover, I will be consuming as much Mexican food as possible.

LIQUOR – I will avoid beer since it has yeast in it, but hard liquor? Sure, why not. Throughout history every society has prioritized alcohol when considering its necessities. I think my ancestors in the desert were no different. How else do you explain jumping in the Red Sea and saying “Dude, I bet I can make it to the other side. No problem, I’m a GREAT swimmer.” Drunk bastards were lucky God parted it for them or it’d have been like 10,000 Chad Meredith's a few thousand years too early.

FOOD ADDATIVES – These are in everything. And if my time in the vitamin business taught me anything, it is that pretty much everything that is put in your food comes from corn. Either that or wood pulp. No matter, the Hasidim would not approve. And, seriously, they totally gouge you on those “Kosher for Passover” foods, so avoiding these corn-derived additives is almost impossible and would probably limit me to eating nothing but apples and celery. And if you thought I was bad before, wait until I am limited to foods with a color other than beige.

So call me a bad Jew if you want. I’m no worse than the Catholic kids I know who forego meat on Friday so that they can engage in premarital sex and excessive drinking and drug use. Religion, I think, is open to your own interpretation, and this is mine. I think I’m going to call it “Starch Judaism.” And as soon as Madonna starts practicing, it will become the new fad.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger jenjen said...

Yes... I made it first to the comments page.
Good for your rationalization...a alot better than stepmom #5's rationalization of why everyone should become Jewish.

Well I know what OCJ stands for. Is this coming straight outta DCJ and was the Chad Meredith incident involved the reason?

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Cliff said...

The defendants in the Meredith trial argued to the jury that they should not be found liable because:

-Chad supposedly consented to participate in the swimming event that led to his death;
-The late night swimming was not a fraternity “sponsored” event; and
-Participating in the swim was not a condition of membership in the fraternity.

Yes, these should have been perfectly acceptable defenses if rationalized by sane people. If I get drunk and consentingly go swimming with my boss after work and drown doing nothing related to work and it has nothing to do with me keeping my job, should my family be able sue my employer? Sorry this was not the main focus of the blog, but it just pisses me off everytime I think about it.

By the way, the defendant's never ended up paying a dime...

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Tara said...

At least you provide limits to yourself! I'm so bad at the religious food thing. I haven't yet deprived myself of anything food-wise for a religion.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous eurosabr03 said...

If you're Sephardi, Kitniyot (beans, rice, corn) are okay anyway, as the decree is based on Medieval European crop-rotation practices that could've contaminated Ashkenazi kitniyot with chametz (read: grain). Some authorities hold that the custom is non-binding, and you can find .mp3 lectures on the web as to why all Jews should be allowed kitniyot for Passover.

That being said, I've been maximizing Mexican food as well. However, I've added salads and (in a nod to Ashkenazi custom) gefilte fish.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

It's always about the Jews, isn't it?

At 4:30 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

JJ - NO, Chad Meredith was the reason some of my fraternity brothers got taken to court, but not me.

Cliff - There is a forthcoming post on this entire issue called "How I changed florida law"

Tara - Thanks, I guess. It's justl ike dieting except you knowexactly when you're done

Euro - Thanks for the lesson. I was acutally unaware of a lot of the history beind that stuff. I love when I can learn things form my commenters. Although I did know the sefardi had different rules.

Ace - Yep. Prety much

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I saw the "Chad Meredith Memorial" bench, possibly a highlight on my 305 trip. I just think its funny you were "impeached" just to have those whe did the accusing to be charged with hazing. I imagine the hazing you would have performed wouldn't have resulted in death.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Ashburnite said...

hey...did you see that Tara tagged you??

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous heather said...

what is dcj? disasters? i guess you're okay. good. what happened? what happened with the nice girl? who the hell was that picture you sent me? questions. questions!

At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Cliff said...

Joe...regardless of my loyalty, or lack there of, to any of the parties involved...THAT WAS NOT A HAZING INCIDENT!...it was only made into one, long after the fact, when a powerful law firm convinced his family that they may be able to turn this into something its not and get them money for it...getting drunk with your friends and hurting yourself does not constitute as hazing...

At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

yeah, I know it wasn't hazing. My point was that WD was the President of the frat, and that his title was taken from him because WD didn't have a problem with the hazing he went through, (and has told me was much less than what we had for hazing in high school) and wanted to continue the tradition. The guys in his frat who had him removed, are the guys who were accused of doing the thing they were against. I know of the situation, Homecoming, Ludacris, bucket of KFC, small hurricane, some drinking and celebrating and a bad decision to go swimming across that nasty, nasty lake in the middle of campus. WD had no part of that other than being a member of said frat. Like I said, I find humor in that these guys who were actively anti hazing, have been accused of doing it, though they in fact were not hazing.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Cliff said...

Yeah Joe that about sums it up...And yes, I guess you can find humor in the irony of the whole thing (trust me, I understand that all to well), but a good kid dieing, and his friends being publicly tagged on TV,Internet, and in the Newspaper as being "responsible" for his death always makes me sick...I just can't imagine feeling miserable and depressed enough that your good friend died in front of your face, and then having someone accuse you of being responsible...and then a law being passed due to the incident!

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Eurosabr03 said...

Also, remember that fruit- and root-vegetable-based liquors are okay, so technically wine, slivovitz, vodka, and arak would be okay.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Neil said...

Don't those fruit gel candies count as a starch?

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Cliff, I hear, ya, I only find humor in the one aspect. The kid dieing part, definitely not cool. It is also a lot different for me as WD is really my only connection to that story.


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