Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It's Pesach 5778!

Passover Is Almost Here: A time to gather with friends and family, to celebrate our Holiday of Freedom.

A time to do away with the inner demons - the doubts, the fears, the overwhelming anxiety and despair - that, says The Onion, have plagued (you should not forgive the expression) men and women since the earliest times.

The paintings indicate that early humans had “some pretty heavy stuff”
weighing on their minds, archaeologists said.
CANTABRIA, SPAIN — An archaeological team from the University of Cambridge announced Wednesday the discovery of cave paintings in northern Spain that suggest prehistoric humans battled a variety of inner demons, nagging fears, and insecurities that plagued them as they struggled with life’s demands in the Paleolithic era.
Stormy in Albuquerque

But oh, how mightily the world has changed since last Passover. As Gail Collins and Bret Stephens point out in this week's New York Times Conversation, ‘Hush Money,’ Now Playing Everywhere.
Bret: One of the paradoxes of the Trump presidency is that it has galvanized the country in all sorts of positive ways. From Charlottesville to l’Affaire Stormy, he has brought to the surface all sorts of ugliness that is simply unignorable. 
For instance, do you think the #MeToo movement would have taken hold the way it did if he weren’t in the White House? 
Gail: It’s a necessary stage in women’s progress — socially and economically — so we’d have gotten there anyway. But having the worst-possible male image in the White House probably propelled things forward faster. 
I guess you could say he’s so bad he’s making us better.

After last week's unforgettably funny-but-irate On Selecting Haberdashery, Abq Jew must (he must! he must!) iterate and reiterate that the welcome and welcoming holiday of Pesach is just around the corner. Here are a few ways we NewMexiJews can tell it's time to open our doors:

1. We have set the clocks forward one hour, so we can start the Seder even later than ... we used to in the good ol' days, when there was at least a chance that Daylight Saving Time wouldn't begin until after Pesach.

2. Random 5-packs of this year's Pesachdik matzah have started to show up in random stores.

3. A prodigious shipment of Passover food has arrived at Eurozone.

4. The Mother Lode of Passover Food has (finally!) begun to congregate at the Smith's at Constituion and Carlisle, thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Emeritus Arthur Flicker of Congregation B'nai Israel.

5. Mesifta Beth Shraga's Bedikas Chometz Kit has arrived in the mail!

What, you may ask, is a Bedikas Chometz (Search for Chometz) Kit?

Well.  First - you do know that all chometz (food products that just might contain even a smidgen of leaven or leavened bread) must be removed from your house and / or no longer owned by you, right?

So, after all the cleaning with blunt instruments has been completed, the night before the first Seder we get down to tachlis.  What do we need?
  1. A candle - so we can see into every nook and cranny to make sure there's no chometz there.
  2. A feather - so we can reach into every nook and cranny and eradicate any chometz.
  3. A wooden spoon - so we've got something with which we can transfer the chometz we find.
  4. A burnable bag -  so we've got something into which we can place the chometz we find before burning said chometz and bag the next morning.
  5. A petek - with the right legal formulae (let's not call them prayers) to absolve us of all guilty ownership of any chometz we didn't see.

Viola!  Or another stringed instrument!  Here's your Bedikas Chometz Kit!

The petek traditionally has a couple slightly different versions of the statement
All chametz, leaven and leavened bread, that is in my possession which I have not seen, removed, or is unknown to me, should be annulled and considered ownerless like the dust of the earth.

Homemaker's Hint:  If you believe what you're saying - and you should - your efforts to clean the house before Pesach need not go beyond the reasonable and customary!

Which is to say, you don't have to drive yourself crazy. Abq Jew knows - for some of us, we don't have to drive. We can walk!  It's not that far ....

6. The Albuquerque Isotopes have announced their return to The Lab! New This Year: The Mariachis de Nuevo México will soon play in The Plaza! Opening Day is Tuesday April 10, vs the Las Vegas 51s.

And what would Passover be without videos? Abq Jew here thoughtfully provides three (3) of the classics. You're welcome!

1. Google Exodus: Best. Passover. Video. Ever.

2. Passover Rhapsody: Second. Best. Passover. Video. Ever.

3. The Passover Prank. Best. Passover. Prank. Video. Ever. For parents who (especially) miss their kids on Pesach. Who know that Skype is never enough.

And as the Seders approach, Abq Jew must remind us all (he must! he must!) that Good News, Salvation and Comfort are just one (1) Pesach visitor away.

?אחד מי יודע
Tonight Could Be The Night!

At our Pesach seders
we Jews have been opening our doors to Elijah for thousands of years.

We still believe that Elijah the Prophet will return tonight
and announce the Coming of the Messiah.

When that happens, our first question will be:

Did Elijah remember to send out a press release?

If he did — you may learn the Good News in a few days or weeks.
But you can always hear about Salvation and Comfort at &
Your guide to Jewish life in Albuquerque and beyond

A Zissen Pesach, Albuquerque!
Chag Kasher veSameach, New Mexico!

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