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As if we don't suffer enough

by michael April 09 2008


Pesach barely qualifies as a joyous holiday.

Oh, its narrative is rich with motifs of redemption and liberation from slavery, but frankly, the only people who were allowed to celebrate that liberation were the original freed slaves (and as even beginner bible students will tell you, it all quickly went south for them). The generations of Israelites and Jews who followed in their unchained wake were commanded to honor the freedom of their forebears by spending a week in a sort of dietary purgatory, denied bread, forced by the voice from on high to replace the staff of life with the stamped sheet of unleavened flour-and-water-product.

But of course, Jewish tradition is taken with the notion that there is no misery unfit for exacerbation, and so this year we see the debut of the Health Matzah. As a Hebrew press release by the company Matzot Rishon breathlessly proclaims:

The health trend is coming to Pesach 2008; the Matzot Rishon company, continuing to follow the healthy course, presents Organic Matzot, Whole Wheat Matzot and Rye Matzot.

Imagine the possibilities! A Passover health food revolution carried on the shoulders of deliciously Earth-conscious recipes like steamed quinoa and bok choy on whole wheat matzah, or ethnic classics like pastrami on rye matzah, all seasoned with a self-righteous sense of well-being.

But wait! Is it free trade? 

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