Friday, April 17, 2009

Bring back that chametz feeling

It's so great to eat chametz again.

Pesach is over so the Jews are flocking to bakeries once again.
Mr. Ahmed and other bagel makers say that the first business day after the holiday ends — Friday — is typically one of their busiest days of the year as Jewish customers line up to observe the passing of at least eight days of yeast privation.

Bagel makers spent Thursday contemplating the end of Passover. Some, like Mr. Ahmed, gave their ovens and mixing bowls the once-over after time off during the holiday, which started at sundown on April 8. His store follows kosher dietary rules and treats Passover as an eight-day holiday, as many observant Jews do. (Reform Jews typically celebrate Passover for seven days, said Rabbi Andy Bachman, the senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn.)

During Passover, many Jews avoid leavened products in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt, during which, according to Old Testament tradition, the Israelites had so little time to flee that the bread they were baking did not have time to rise, and came out of the ovens as matzo.

That means eight bagel-free days, unless you make bagels with matzo meal (there are recipes on the Internet). People who have not had a bagel in eight days make the post-Passover time busy — as busy, Mr. Ahmed said, as Thanksgiving Day, when crowds watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade stream down Central Park West, a block from his shop.
That bagel after Yom Tov last night tasted so good!

Considering how my Colts take on Arizona over Kol Nidrei, I feel for Jets fans. Granted, Indianapolis is not New York. Nor is Arizona.
The Jets, upset about being scheduled for home games on consecutive Sundays in direct conflict with Jewish holidays, sent N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a letter Thursday asking that one of the game times be changed. The Jets’ home opener is Week 2 against New England at 1 p.m. on Sept. 20, which falls during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The Jets then play Tennessee at 4:15 p.m. the next Sunday, with Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, beginning at sundown.
Norm Coleman wears tefillin.
He has learned to ignore the big “Franken” signs on his neighbors’ yards that taunt him when he walks out his door, a daily reminder of his five-month battle with Al Franken over the Senate seat Mr. Coleman, a Republican, won in 2002 and neither quite retained nor lost in November. Mr. Coleman said he begins each day with ritual Jewish morning prayer to help him though these trying times.[...]

“I have more dinners home with my wife than I ever have before,” said Mr. Coleman.

He said that every morning, he puts tefillin — black leather boxes containing scrolls — on his arm as part of a morning Jewish prayer ritual. “I bind myself every morning,” he said. “I bind myself to God every morning because it’s in his hands.”

He paused. “David Letterman will make fun of me for this,” he said.

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