Avery's a pizza-bagel. Or I guess this week, a pizza-matzah. Let me explain. Both Eric and I have Jewish moms, and Italian dads. How's that for some family culture? It's no wonder we love food and often need earplugs to make it through our family holidays. In fact, being pizza-bagels is what brought Eric and I together. But that's another blog post for another time.
Coming from a "mixed marriage" family, I was raised Jewish, but was lucky enough to reap all the fun, secular benefits from the Christian holidays. Thanks dad! My sister and I got yearly visits from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We had a "Chanukah Bush". The best years were the ones when Christmas fell smack in the middle of Chanukah. It helped us poor deprived children get through that after-Christmas letdown by still having a few more deliveries from Chanukah Harry to look forward to.
Fast forward to years later. I’m a junior in college, studying art history for a semester in Florence, Italy and living with the most amazing host family. We are sitting around the dinner table (just having finished the best orecchiette and broccoli rabe, like, ever) and discussing our weekend plans. They are going up to their country house for Easter. When I mention I celebrate Passover, they joyfully exclaim “Oh si, si! Hebrew Easter!”
I have to bite my lip and grip my chair as not to topple over with side-splitting laughter. I don’t know why this strikes me as so hilarious! It comes from such a sweet, sincere and genuine place. But still… Hebrew Easter? Seriously? The two holidays are just a little different.
But are they really? The more I thought about it, I realized I actually had been celebrating Hebrew Easter my entire life, being a pizza bagel and all. Without getting too religious on you (I go to temple 2x/year, on a good year) there are some striking parallels... the common roots of overcoming religious persecution, death and rebirth (symbolized by the egg in both holidays), and the celebration of spring. It's also no coincidence that the two holidays always fall around each other, with the first night of Passover even being on Good Friday this year.
Hebrew Easter to me has always been a time to gather with loved ones and welcome the impending warmth of spring and the hope of new beginnings. And what better way to do so than eating an extremely nutritious meal of fried matzah with a side of cadbury eggs?
Keeping in the spirit, I decided to make our little pizza-matzah a Hebrew Easter basket this year. What do you think?
So, felice pasqua-pesach to all my peeps out there!
Photocreds: All but last, Yours Truly. Happy Passover Peeps photo courtesy of the hilarious Scott Goldstein.