Passover


The Four Sons

By Eli Valley

Eli Valley draws the Four Sons expressing their views on how we in America might understand Egyptian freedom.Read More


Four Questions for Poetry Month

By Jake Marmer

As part of the Poetry Month celebration hosted by the Forward, we asked a number of poets about their practice. Today we’re featuring the highlights of the responses received. And, as part of its ongoing poem a day celebration of National Poetry Month, The Arty Semite blog will be hosting various works by these poets, among diverse and provoking others.Read More


Meet The Poets

Meet the poets who answered our Four Questions this Pesach: Adeena Karasick, Matthue Roth, Karen Alkalay-Gut, Maya Pindyck, Almog Behar, Emmanuel Moses, Stanley Moss.Read More


Expanding Freedom in Today’s World

Whether we’re eating bread or matzo, legumes or leafy greens, our relationship to food is something more than 1 billion people around the world can’t imagine. Why? Because they are chronically hungry, enslaved to a global economy that prevents them from having the food they need to survive.Read More


The Kitniyot Question: What’s a Convert To Do?

By Elizabeth Savage

The question of kitniyot presents an interesting challenge for the converted. Kitniyot — literally, “little things” — is the umbrella term used for the specific foods not eaten during Passover in the Ashkenazi tradition, including rice, corn, beans and lentils. It’s a practice whose origins are unclear; but what is clear is that this anti-legume custom, passed down from generation to generation, raises a significant question for those who have chosen to be chosen. What should converts do when faced with a specific minhag, or custom, whether a food tradition or otherwise? As someone who converted to Judaism, I didn’t realize how stressed I must have been by this until my subconscious gave me a very particular gift: my kitniyot nightmare.Read More


From South Africa, an Activist’s Recipe Recalls the Power of Food

By Elizabeth Alpern

The early years of Nelson Mandela’s life as an organizer and revolutionary were marked by cross-cultural experiences centered around the table, even when such alliances were frowned upon politically. The Indian South African community, and the solidarity it showed in passive resistance campaigns, deeply influenced Mandela’s later mass actions and encouraged Mandela and his colleagues to work across racial and cultural lines. Among his greatest influencers was Amina Pahad, who became politically active in her teenage years, and welcomed activists of all backgrounds into her home, truly letting “all who were hungry come and eat” and creating a safe haven filled with political debate and good meals.Read More


From Egypt, a Traditional Dish Links to an Ongoing Struggle

By Elizabeth Alpern

At the start of 2011 the world watched as the Egyptian people overthrew longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. It is not often that we can so easily honor the Haggadah’s instruction that “In every generation one must look upon himself as if he personally has come out of Egypt.”Read More


Jerusalem: Easter, Passover

By Stanley Moss

Poet Stanley Moss, who talked to the Forward about poetic and religious practice, reads the following poem, which he wrote, at his Passover meals.Read More


Old World, New World Variations on Brisket

By Devra Ferst

There are few holiday foods that call up tradition and memories as much as brisket or brust, as I’m told my great-grandmother called it. There are endless variations of recipes — each one boasting local influences from sweet paprika to Coca-Cola to spicy Mexican chiles. This Passover season, we share with you a recipe from the Old World that made its way to both America and Sweden from Latvia, and one from the New World that provides a Mexican twist on the traditional dish.Read More


Four Questions for Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, the brilliant young sage from the generation following the Second Temple’s destruction, likened himself to “a man of 70” in the Passover Haggadah. If ben Azariah were alive today, his role model for wisdom might very well be Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz.Read More





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