The Schmooze

How Do You Keep, and Break, Passover?

In the past few years, I’ve struggled to reconcile being a non-believer with my love of Jewish culture and traditions. So I’ve wavered back and forth on keeping Passover and fasting on Yom Kippur, the two most intrinsic rituals of self-deprivation for the sake of enlightenment on the Jewish calendar. This year, after a few years of nonobservance after the first two days, I went back to trying a sort of Passover lite — I stayed away from bread, pasta and cereal for the full eight days, with the exception of one emergency thin-crust pizza lapse. Basically, I stayed away from leavening but I didn’t obsessively check the ingredients or the label on packaged food. I really enjoyed keeping the holiday in a less-than stringent way. It led me to be more conscious of how I eat and try new additions to my diet (note to self: I am a total bread addict). On a spiritual and cultural level, this loose observance kept the meaning of the holiday fresh in my mind without making me feel as though I were engaging in the holier-than-thou “corn syrup is evil” one-upmanship contests I remember from my time at a Jewish day school.

Recommend this article

How Do You Keep, and Break, Passover?

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close