When you get right down to it, Passover really isn’t such a bad holiday.
But it’s one of the greatest ironies that while we celebrate our freedom from slavery, we do so by being slaves to food. You can’t eat anything with wheat or flour — essentially, no carbs — and if you’re observant like me, you only eat stuff that says “Kosher for Passover” on it and you don’t go out to eat. (Yes, this is the one week of the year when I’m Jewish by practice, as opposed to the other 51 where I’m more a Jew by identity.)
It’s not so bad, really. I mean, there are cookies and there’s tuna fish and normal stuff like chicken and brisket and what have you. And sure, I’d love some good cake or a slice of pizza, but I can wait a couple days.
Still, the holiday requires — or at least my observance of it requires — that I bring my lunch to work everyday because I can’t just go to COSI or Sam LaGrassa’s for a sandwich, and I’d rather not go out for a salad somewhere. And because I can’t remember the last time I brought my lunch to work, this is quite a change of lifestyle for me.
So this morning I woke up a little earlier, made a nice little lunch (salad, gefilte fish, matzah, some cookies), and left it in the refrigerator while I ate my breakfast. And then I left my apartment, walked to the T stop, got on the train at Coolidge Corner, got all the way to Kent Street and then realized that my lunch was still in the fridge (actually, it was Farrah, celebrating her birthday today by the way, who helped to jog my memory). And because the T was coming less frequently in the outbound direction, I ended up walking all the way back home to get my lunch.
In the cold.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Up one hill and down another.
(Alright, that last line was just for emphasis.)
And it was all because I’m obligated to bring my lunch every day and can’t just get something at one of my usual places.
Yes, we may be free from actual slavery, but during Passover week, some of us are still slaves to something.