From today’s reading...
That night, the flesh must be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” Exodus 12:8
This past weekend for my birthday, my wife made arrangements for us to attend the exhibition, “Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.” at the Reagan Library, and we were able to meet and hear Auschwitz survivor Tova Friedman, speak and have her sign a copy of her book, “The Daughter of Auschwitz.”
At her talk, they were also selling something I thought was quite peculiar, a cookbook.
Not only was it a cookbook, it was a cookbook of desserts, some of which they served during her talk. The title of it is “Honey Cake & Latkes: Recipes from the Old World by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Survivors.”
I even mentioned to my wife before we arrived how odd it was that they were selling a cookbook like this and offering samples of them.
My attitude changed once I heard Tova speak.
You see, Tova Friedman turned six years old in Auschwitz, and one of her most vivid memories was how hungry she was during her eight months there.
As her story unfolded, she shared how she has come to meet many other Holocaust survivors and how food was also important to them, not only during their time in the concentration camps but before and after, because breaking bread is a timeless, intimate, bond-forming, wisdom-sharing event across all cultures.
During a Zoom call (during the COVID lockdown) close to Passover, Maria Zalewska, Executive Director at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation, simply asked what everyone’s plans were and what they were preparing, and that turned into a lively discussion that led to the cookbook Zalewska compiled.
So food is important to us all, and it is important to us all the time, in good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. In lifting our spirts, saving our lives, and saving our souls.
God knew this as He instructed the exiled and enslaved Jews in Egypt on how to prepare for the most important meal—and event—of their lifetimes.
Jesus knew this as He shared His last Passover meal with the twelve, gave of Himself, and instructed all of us how to prepare for the most important meal—and event—of our lifetimes.
Important events have rules and routines, etiquette and precedent, timelines and guidelines.
They are steeped in history and tradition yet approachable, understandable, and able to be appreciated by modern participants who desire to familiarize themselves with them.
Such is the Passover meal.
Such is the Last Supper, which, for Christians, since the Resurrection, is now our daily Passover meal, which replenishes our bodies while it replenishes our souls, which we need if we are to...
Stay the course.
Keep the faith.
Market like you mean it. Now go sell something.