It’s that time of year again, when Jewish people around the world forgo the bread, and munch on matzah. It’s Passover, the holiday when we commemorate the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. But through a modern-day lens, it’s about so much more. It’s about awareness of those still struggling to achieve freedom and recognizing that there are many who continue to suffer in various capacities.
Food — what we eat and don’t eat — is a central component of this holiday, and as there are millions of Jews with varying beliefs, many will choose to observe differently. When I shop for food, or decide what I do or don’t eat, I think about the ways my food choices impact the environment, treatment of animals, my health, and the well being of others. Even during the holiday I stick to my year-round philosophy. Next to avoiding wheat (with the exception of properly prepared matzah), rye, barley, oats, and spelt, this philosophy is a priority. For me, observing Passover incorporates the tradition of a seder and avoiding these five grains, but my observance also tightly weaves in recognition of how my choices affect the freedom and rights of others, particularly when it comes to the foods that I choose to buy and eat, who is behind the production of the food, and how they were treated. I also consider the ethics of the companies behind the foods that I buy. As it’s important year-round, I feel that it is just as important — or even more so — during a holiday that represents social justice.
Aside from grain-free dishes like frittatas and salads, here are a few of my favorite dishes during this festival of matzah.
What are some of your favorite ways to use matzah during Passover?