So we’ve just finished celebrating the holiday of Passover – “Pesach” in Hebrew.
Without getting into the real origins of the holiday, which are mainly agricultural, let’s observe its relatively new flavor: “The Holiday of Freedom” – named after the story of the ancient Hebrews escaping slavery in ancient Egypt.
I’m skipping the scientific research about the ancient Hebrews not being slaves in ancient Egypt and not escaping it. Let’s focus for a while on the “freedom” flavor of the holiday. How do you celebrate freedom? I can think of many ways to enhance the feeling of freedom. Alas, avoiding bread is not one of them.
If it was only bread, freedom could have somehow been rescued. But it’s far from that. The level of details that religion goes into – leaves little to imagination. You need to look for breadcrumbs of certain size and actually burn them. You are not allowed any kind of “leaven”, which includes things starting from beer to certain medicines. Many groups of Jews also forbid all kinds of legumes, such as beans, lentils and countless others.
And if you think that’s it – you’re wrong. Recently we see more cleaners and detergents checked for being “Kosher for Passover”. Rugs, towels and rubber gloves included. This has nothing to do with the Church of Bleach though. In fact, some ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods also change their water supply during the holiday, to avoid non-Kosher water.
Now, consider all of the above is just about the leaven rulings, while there are many more – such as distinct prayers and texts, several rituals etc. It’s no wonder many observing Jews simply tend to leave home during this holiday and move to a remote location where things are being checked by others, such as a “kosher hotel”.