Sunday, April 20, 2008

Unleavened Weekend - No Beer, No Bread, No Fun

Passover - the Jewish holiday which celebrates the Israelites' escape from Egyptian bondage.

It's a yearly celebration of the first degree - one of the most important times of the year for Jews, who often travel many, many miles along the New Jersey Turnpike to join their family and friends for the holiday.

For such a fantastic celebration, it seems like we should be able to have a beer with dinner.

Please God, gimme a break. I sat in traffic for 3 and a half hours this Saturday, trying to get to the Seder. And all I wanted when I arrived was a cold, yeasty, brew.

But alas, during Passover, Jews are forbidden from eating most grains, and anything with leavening. So no beer, whiskey, or Twinkies.

It's a way for us to give a little shout-out to Moses and the rest of the forefathers (and fore-bubbies) who didn't have time to let their bread rise, as they escaped from Pharaoh and his gang of meanies.

They suffered a lot back in the day, for years and years - at the hands of the Pharaoh, and then for 40 years in the desert. The least we can do is suffer a little bit by not eating bread or pasta for 8 days.

But still, back to the no-beer thing. It would seem to me that, after thousands of years of Passover celebrations, some inventive Jew would have come up with a way to make Kosher for Passover beer.

And whenever I need to quickly find an absolutely definitive answer to something I know little about, I checked Google. The search was simply, "Kosher for Passover beer," and I was not terribly surprised to find very few relevant results.

Apparently, a brewery in upstate New York called Ramapo Valley Brewery is the only damn brewery in the whole damn world that has even tried to make a beer for Passover. It's called the Passover Honey Lager. It doesn't sound very good, but I'd be more than happy to give it a try. It approximates real beer by using honey, molasses, and hops in the brew. No barley, wheat or other grains are used.

If anyone's actually tried this stuff please let me know.

Everyone knows the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. The plagues of locusts, vermin, and cattle disease. The smiting of the first born. The Nile transmogrifying into blood. And many other fun, wholesome, and hilarious stories of Passover.

Pharaoh was such a jerk for first enslaving my ancestors, then telling them they could go free, and then changing his mind at the last minute and chasing after them with his army.

I will never forgive him.

If only he had given the Israelites a little more time to let their bread rise, then I could be having a beer right now.


Anonymous said...

Just drink wine.

JG said...

a smooth, tart, velvety manischewitz, with hints of oak and grapefuit, is a fine substitute for a brewski.

Dennis said...

Hey! You may not get to drink beer, but you got Charlton Heston!

Dennis said...

Hey! You may not get to drink beer, but you got Charlton Heston!

The Mill said...

Charlton Heston, my friend, was not Jewish - God rest his soul nevertheless.