Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baking up a storm

Today I ran a model Matza bakery for the children of the Lubavitch Early Childhood Center in S. Paul MN. It's a bit of a pretentious name for a preschool, but it works for them, so who am I to say anything? So yeah, it was cute. All the kids were really enthusiastic and made the room pretty messy, which I think is a good sign. The Matza we made was of course not Kosher for Pesach, which my partner, and fellow Shliach of YHSTC, Eli Posner was very happy about, as he got to eat. We even had some excitement, as the smoke alarm went off due to the Matzas burning. Hey, they taste better that way, no?
I would love to say that I vividly remember my own experience baking Matza before Pesach, but unfortunately I really can't claim that. This is probably because I was a young tyke, new to the world and all the experiences contained therein. What I do recall is sitting on the floor in the Rapaport's basement, which doubled as the Shul in Mequon, being entertained by (The future Rabbi) Mottel Friedman, and later receiving my Matza, fresh from the oven, which looked liked a pita.
That's the extent of my memory. Sorry. The good news is that I'm still keeping Pesach after all these years, which would seem to imply that something right was done at some point.
Moving right along, it seems that we're having another winter storm here in the beautiful Midwest. Some people think winter is a bad thing, and that winter storms should be banned altogether due to lack of funding. Others have the position that winter storms are not only a necessary part of life but are in fact the blood that runs through the veins of any true Midwesterner. These latter types also believe that slaughtering deer is an acceptable sport, and that moose heads look great on their bathroom walls, so you don't have to take their opinion too seriously. Of course, people who wish to eliminate winter storms are probably delusional, so you don't really have any clear-cut choice in the matter.
What's the Torah perspective? I'd venture to say that the Torah falls on the side of those who like storms; after all, we pray for rain three times a day, but at the same time there is also room for vacations to Miami or Palm Springs.
As for a quick Pesach Halacha? As far as I can tell, there is no prohibition of eating peaches on Pesach, as long as they've been peeled of course. Grapes are also permitted, but anyone who has the patience to skin a grape should either look for a position in the education or else find something better to do with their time. Peach cobbler and grapeheads are, however, prohibited, due to their ingredients. Now that you know this, the question is, what do you do? And that, my friends, is up to you. After all, Pesach is all about the celebration of freedom, and this precious gift is what was given to all of you. Exercise it, or grow indolent with power. Or something like that. Enough of my rambling, Pesach cleaning is issuing a clarion call, and I for one shan't be slow to heed it. Onward (to the kitchen?) and upward (the ceiling, presumably)!