Thursday, February 26, 2009

There's no way I'd Pass this Over!

One of the few Jewish holidays we celebrated in my family was Passover. For those of you who aren't familiar with the ways of the Jew, here's a brief def:
A ceremonial dinner (Seder) that commemorates the Exodus (mass escape) from Egypt and includes the reading of the Haggadah (a little booklet written in Hebrew with English translations for us normal people) and the eating of symbolic foods, generally held on the first night of Passover.

Basically it's like what every other Jewish holiday represents: They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat. When my dad was younger, his family took the dinner extremely seriously, was mind-numbingly boring and lasted for hours. He hated it and didn't want it to be like that for us and so he kept it brief and simple. He read only the main prayers that thanked God for safely getting us the hell out from under Egyptian slavery. We got the symbolic food out of the way first and then we were able to enjoy the rest of the dinner while also drinking the sweet grape and blackberry kosher wine throughout the meal. By the end of dinner we were always drunk, full and happy. It's one of the family traditions I treasure the most.

So yesterday I got an email from my mother-in-law letting me know their church is planning to have a Seder this year to recognize Passover. Weird, but okay. She thought of me (natch - I'm the only Jew she's ever known) and said she'd love for me and Brian to go. She said there would be no southern cooking that day, just "Jewish food." It was thoughtful of her and there's no way I'd dream of missing this. But I'm not going for any nostalgic reason she's probably imagining. A Passover Seder in a Southern Baptist church? The potential for unintentional comedy that day will be endless.

For one thing, I can't wait to see what their version of Jew food is. I can hear the ladies in the church kitchen now:
Ida? You reckon we should fix these MOT-SO balls like we do dumplins? And what about this "unleavened bread" foolishness? Them silly Jews didn't have the sense Jesus gave them to finish the job and BAKE the bread?

Well of course they didn't, Betty! They's the ones who KILLED our Jesus, remember?

(Betty gasps)Oh lawsie, you're right, Ida! Well then why the dickens are we troubling ourselves to fix all this peculiar food for OUR Sunday dinner? I don't mean to be ugly, but I don't approve of this at all. This here is Christ-killer food! I can tell you one thing: I'll be sneaking in some fried chicken, butterbeans and cornbread for us!

Good idea, Betty, good idea. I'll bring the biscuits and slaw and you and me can just have us our own little private CHRISTIAN dinner, just the way Jesus would've wanted it.

If I had any balls at all, which I don't, I'd act the total fool:
What kind of shit is this - GRAPE JUICE instead of WINE??? And OY, you are sadly mistaken if you think this passes for matzo ball soup, you schmucks!
And oh yeah, Betty and Ida? I heard your cracker asses in the kitchen a little while ago so let me set you straight on something; WE didn't kill Jesus, the Romans did. You may want to do a little Old Testament reading, since YOUR Bible is actually the sequel to OURS!

Oh come on; you know I'd never do such a thing, at least not while sober. It's just something that will be fun to imagine that day. I'm sure there will be enough raw material floating around I won't even have to come up with my own. I can't wait.


Taoist Biker said...

Hell, one origin of all of my religious angst is that my dad's Baptist parents could just never accept my mother's Methodist baptism as legitimate. I mean, a Methodist? My laws! They're just so DIFFERENT.

The concept of them inviting a Jew to a holiday dinner just boggles the mind.

Kim said...

TB - I'm thankful they've finally accepted their son married a Jew. We've made a lot of progress from when we were first dating and I went to their house for the first time and saw a book on the coffee table (in plain sight) called "How to Lead Your Jewish Friends to the Messiah."

Taoist Biker said...

Yeah, I saw you mention that someplace before - kuh-RINGE!

Anonymous said...

Ummm...your version of their secret dinner DOES sound good. Heehee! ;)

Kim said...

Oh there's no denying their food is good. There's a reason I put on 25lbs since we've been back up here. But unless there's another secret Jew in the congregation, I don't have high hopes for the Jew food. What I SHOULD do is volunteer to help...but I won't.

Anonymous said...

I love the "bread without yeast?" thing..."those silly jews."

crisitunity said...

I'm amused by a different part of this post - "they tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat". One of my favorite bits in the later seasons of the Simpsons is a Bible Stories episode where, at the end of the Moses story, all the kids are gathered around as Lisa consults a book (a Bible, presumably). Milhouse says "So, what's next for the chosen people? Land of milk 'n' honey?" Lisa: " looks like we wander the desert for forty years." Milhouse: "Well...but after that, it's smooth sailing for the Jews, right?" Lisa: (consults book with cringe on her face) "Uh, yeah, I guess, hey is that manna?"

Kim said...

MTAE - Sadly, Brian doesn't share my enthusiasm for the unleavened bread (matzo), but he does enjoy my mom's matzo ball soup so it's all good.

Cris - I've seen a lot of Simpsons episodes but never that one; I'd love to see it! That made me laugh really hard just now.