First, I hate the transliterated spelling “Pesach”. I almost want to put a “T” before the “ch”… but then the word might end up in hip-hop songs as an unpleasant slant rhyme.
Second, perhaps I am freaking out a bit because even though I have already shopped for Pessah (my new official spelling… yes, it looks weird – but you will get used to it!), I still believe that I have another week before the event. Okay. I am in deep denial.
Third, as one who thought a lot about food, Jewish food, and the place of Jewish food in the lives of Jews, I always wondered about the massive political capital Diaspora Jews expend on the Seder.
We all know that the Seder is probably the BIGGEST JEWISH FOOD DAY OF THE YEAR. The preparation is elaborate, the shopping onerous, the cleaning obsessively-compulsive… and it all culminates with a day-of-event hysteria that rivals any Oscar Award show. And then, the Seder happens, the afikoman is hidden and looted, the songs are sung, and memories are made.
And then. You do it all over again. Seder II, like most Hollywood sequels, can never measure up to the original. It is derivative. It lacks imagination and originality. It is a sad anti-climax. An also-ran. A consolation prize for Jews in the Diaspora.
And then. There’s the rest of Pessah where, essentially, (from a culinary perspective), all the big guns have been fired and you are just waiting patiently (or not so patiently by Day 7) for the return of normal sandwiches and breakfast cereals. How many matzah lasagnas can a person eat in a week? How many matzah pancakes? Oh, the horror… the horror.
And then. I wish I was North African so at least there would be something to look forward to in the remaining days of the holyday. Why can I not have a mimouna too? Could there not be an Ashkenazi version of mofletta?
And then. A thought.
Since Seder II, nestled so closely to Seder I, seems like a pale, lame exercise… why not move Seder II to the second to last night of the holyday? That way, Jews all over North America, Europe and Asia can end Pessah with a bang – and not a pained, gastric whimper. We could rebuild that excitement throughout the intervening days, the second Afikoman, the second rendition of Ekhad Mi Yodea? where we could actually pretend that we did not know Six (it has been almost a week, after all… a lot has happened since Seder I)… !
Think about it. Moving Seder II could change Pessah as we know it.
WHO’S WITH ME?