Today! Free Passover concert stream with Nicki Bluhm, Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Jeremiah Lockwood, and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave)

My friends at Reboot, the Jewish arts and culture nonprofit, are hosting a free Passover concert stream today at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT with a killer lineup! The show, "Reboot Ideas: Liberation Through Music," features Nicki Bluhm (The Gramblers), Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Jeremiah Lockwood, and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave). Dayenu! Tune in here on Zoom.

And check out the calendar of upcoming Reboot Ideas sessions here!

L'Chaim! Read the rest

Pandemic Baking: I made bagels for passover

Nothing says ur-Passover in Pandemic Land like bagels.

I received a bag of artisan baking flour. I really wanted to test it out and baking unleavened crackers because of shit that happened a long time ago seems not to respect the gravity of our daily situation.

I have improved my bagel recipe over the old one, but it is still fun to read. Also, today I used commercial yeast but you can use sourdough. Simply substitute the yeast, ¼ cup of four and ¼ cup of water for ½ cup of starter.

ur-Passover Pandemic Bagels

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups flour 1 ½ cups warm water 1 packet of active yeast 1 ½ tablespoons white sugar 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Boiling solution:

2 tablespoons baking soda 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 8 cups of water

Bagel Toppings to taste.

In a measuring cup I combined 1 ½ cups of water with the sugar and yeast. I let it sit for 15 minutes. In a bowl I put the flour and salt.

I combined all the ingredients all into a big ball. I kneaded it 2-3 minutes and set it aside in a bowl for about 60 minutes on a warm surface.

I spread baking soda on some aluminum foil to bake the moisture out of it and evidently up my bagel skin game. I heated it at 300F for the time my dough was rising.

After an hour I set the pot of water to boil and separated the dough into balls.

Read the rest

Watch the epic silent film The Ten Commandments (1923)

In celebration of Passover, I suggest watching The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epic silent film version of the biblical Exodus story (plus a related modern story that I never bothered to watch.) The parting of the Red Sea sequence is absolutely magnificent and worth the cost of admission alone.

As you may recall, just a few years ago archaeologists excavated the "Lost City of DeMille," the Egyptian set for the film buried for almost 100 years in the sand dunes of Santa Barbara County, California.

(Thanks, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie!) Read the rest

What do you call someone who derives pleasure from the bread of affliction?

What do you call someone who derives pleasure from the bread of affliction?

A matzochist.

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Why do we have a Haggadah at Passover?

So we can Seder right words.

Share your own in the comments! Happy Passover! Read the rest

When Joan Rivers and Martha Stewart decorated matzo houses for Passover

The late-great comedienne Joan Rivers was a frequent guest on Martha Stewart's daytime show. One year for Passover, they built gingerbread-like houses with sheets of matzo and decorated them with other kosher foods including macaroons, chocolate, dried fruits, and nuts. Such a cute idea!

Watch:

Happy Pesach to those of you out there who celebrate! Read the rest

Marijuana is kosher for Passover

Apparently some Ashkenazi Jews of central or eastern European heritage consider cannabis to be in the category of food that's prohibited during Passover, the festival that begins tonight. However Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a recognized leader in Orthodox Judaism, ruled that it's actually fine to use weed for medical purposes during Passover. Reminds of the time many years ago when we used a bud to represent the "bitter herb" on the Seder Plate. From The Independent:

Among Ashkenazi Jews, who are of usually of Central and Eastern European descent, the drug would be considered to be a member of the kitniyot – a group of legumes and grains which are forbidden during the festival of Passover, including rice, peas and lentils....

The 88-year-old rabbi, who lives in Bnei Brak, an Israeli city east of Tel Aviv, can be seen with another prominent rabbi in a video uploaded to YouTube by pro-legalisation group Cannabis Israel in which they are presented with cannabis leaves and partake in the leaves being blessed.

Read the rest

Amazing Rube Goldberg machine tells the Passover story

Mechanical engineering students from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology built this fantastic Rube Goldberg machine last year to tell the story of Passover, the Jewish holiday starting the evening of April 22 that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Of course my favorite part of the story, and this video, is the Ten Plagues.

(Thanks, Candy Mabry!)

And here's a behind-the-scenes video:

Read the rest

Watch Nina Paley and Theodore Gray's fantastic embroidered animation for Passover song

The amazing Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues) and Theodore Gray created a fantastic embroidered stop-motion animation of my favorite traditional Passover song "Chad Gadya." Read the rest

A Passover Haggadah: As Commented Upon by Elie Wiesel and Illustrated by Mark Podwal

Choosing a haggadah, the book I'll use to lead my family in Passover seder, was an interesting process. Hannah and I have settled on Elie Wiesel's A Passover Haggadah. Read the rest

Rube Goldberg's Passover Seder

Engineering, Architecture and Planning students at Technion--Israel Institute of Technology are remembering the story of Moses this Passover as only engineers, architects and planners can. Read the rest

Kosha Dillz Passover Playlist

Passover is coming! To get you into the mood for matzoh, America's latest cool Jew—rapper Kosha Dillz—(SoundCloud) has a Passover playlist to rock your noggin.

This is not a musical rendition of the ten commandments or the seven plagues, but it covers the old testament with old school rap from Blood of Abraham, HAIM, Ari Lesser, of course The Beastie Boys; and the most Jewish rapper of them all, Matisyahu.

Here is Kosha Dillz Passover Playlist, annotated and compiled for last spring's Village Voice.

Also, my mother would like to remind you that Passover 2015 begins the evening of Friday, April 3. Read the rest

For Passover fun in Israel, a safari of animals crafted from Coca-Cola trash

A monkey sculpture is pictured on a pick-up truck before it is placed in an exhibition at Hiriya recycling park, built on the site of a former garbage dump near Tel Aviv. The Coca-Cola Recycled Safari featuring animals made of recycled Coca Cola packages will be open to the public during the Passover holiday.

More images of other critter creations from the recycling project, below. (REUTERS/Nir Elia) Read the rest