Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Passover, Priesthood, and Pasta

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program ...

With Passover coming up, I just had to take a break from pasta month. Not being Jewish, I don’t actually celebrate it. Because Mormons (and all Christians) share a portion of our religious history with the Jews, though, I think it’s important to at least recognize these important religious holidays.

Let's make no mistakes, here. Jesus Christ celebrated Passover before he was crucified. During the Passover feast in the “upper room,” he gave his disciples the most important commandment he could, regarding their behavior, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Besides, I can’t think of any better excuse to enjoy Jewish food. Except Hanukkah.

Passover is an awesome holiday. It commemorates the liberation of the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage, and the retelling of the Exodus story is common. The whole theme of the holiday is one of freedom.

As a Mormon, I have a rather interesting take on this. Moses was the prophet associated with the liberation of the the Jews. We believe he held what is now called the higher, or Melchizedech Priesthood - so named after Melchizedech, a righteous High Priest and King in the Old Testament. His brother, Aaron held a lesser priesthood, as did the sons of Levi. Today, that priesthood bears his name: the Aaronic Preisthood. In other words, they held the authority to act in God's name for the salvation of His children. The LDS Church believes that same priesthood authority has been restored to the earth.

As a descendant of “Joseph who was sold into Egypt,” through his son Ephraim, I feel a familial connection, as well. Maybe that’s why I have such respect for Jewish traditions.

There are specific food requirements for Passover. They can vary a bit between the different Jewish sects, but the main focus is on the removal of potential leavening agents from the home. Obviously, I know very little about the whole thing so, to do my research, I had to consult some experts. The information over at My Jewish Learning was especially helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about the rituals and ideals behind Passover, you may want to pay them a visit.

What I learned presented a real problem for me. Pasta is a forbidden food during Passover. It’s Pasta month! What was I supposed to do? With the help of Chef Adena Sussman, I may have found and answer.

Stay tuned …

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