Every year I spend a small fortune on Passover food, the bulk of it going for the Seders, but also for the food throughout the week. We usually go through several dozen eggs, because if you want a good Matzoh Brie, you gotta break some eggs!
Brisket is expensive, but I buy several big ones, because I was taught that when you do a Mitzvah, its like an offering to God, and what you present to God, should be the best you can do. I always try to make every Mitzvah as nice as possible, not to be showy, but because it is to honor HaShem. I don’t mind the expense because its like a huge feast to God, to honor Him because He is our God and we are His people, and nothing says it like brisket and Matzoh Brie!
By the time you’ve bought matzoh meal, matzoh farfel, macaroons in the many flavors they now come in, (growing up, all you could get was chocolate, coconut, and plain), and the other Kosher for Pesach items, with higher prices because of Passover, you have spent double your normal food bill.
In order to economize, and partially just out of habit, I usually buy the cheapest version of what I want, whether its American produced or imported from Israel. Things like eggs and meat you can’t help buying American .. because that’s the meat that’s available, and I figure kosher is kosher, and Kosher for Passover is what it is no matter where it’s produced.
Over the decades, I have gotten used to certain brands, and it’s almost part of the tradition to continue with those brands. I grew up with Manischewitz Matzoh. I like how it tastes, and it just doesn’t feel right to have other brands. When you are going to eat matzoh for eight days, you want to be eating the matzoh you enjoy.
Egg matzoh has to be Goodman’s Matzoh.. Theirs is the best! The Shmurah Matzoh, the hand-made stuff I have at the Seder, is super expensive, and I get the stuff made by Hasidim in Brooklyn. When I lived in New York, I used to buy it at the factory.
I’m not so particular about what matzoh ball mix we use, as long as they come out good. The best way I have found is to have someone else make them.
This year, I’ve decided to do something different. Israel has been coming under attack through an International Arab Conspiracy, where they are calling for a worldwide boycott of Israeli goods. Its aimed at crippling and eventually destroying the Jewish State. The holiday of Pesach, Passover, is all about the Land, which means, the nation. This year, I’m buying Israeli Matzoh, and as many Israeli goods as possible. Not because I think my matzoh purchase will make that much difference in the grand scheme of things, or that my Matzoh purchase will bring the anti-Semites to their knees, but because it makes a statement about where I stand, and about what I value.
I have gotten into the habit of buying fairly expensive Kosher for Passover wine from Italy. It’s not strong, not syrupy, and delicious. This year I’m going to find the same types of wine produced in Israel. I don’t care if it costs more, or if it’s not exactly like what I usually get. It’s just that where ever I stand, I stand with Israel.
Passover, is about God’s redemption of the Jewish people and bringing us to the Land of Israel. Every Seder on the planet end’s, “Next Year In Jerusalem.” The Passover Seder is all about redeeming Israel and bringing them to the Land. Without the land, its only half the story. Leaving it out is like Christianity without Easter. You have the life, burial and death of Yeshua, but no resurrection.
It’s the little gestures of our lives that say a lot.