This is a difficult week for those of us of the Jewish persuasion -- of which I count myself a member.
It's Passover -- truly a lovely holiday that is all about the celebration of freedom from slavery.
I love this holiday. I love the traditions. I love the two nights of seder dinners with their traditional foods. I love the way the foods are meant to represent parts of the story -- the charoset (the mortar of the bricks the Jews made for the pharaohs of ancient Egypt), the bitter herb (representing the bitterness of slavery), the matzah (the unleavened bread that the Jews took on their flight from Egypt because they couldn't wait for the bread to rise).
Yes, I love it all.
Well, almost all.
I hope it's OK if I tell you a little secret:
Matzah really IS the bread of our affliction.
Or, to put it another way: Holy Moses! I am so freakin' constipated!!!!!
Ah, matzah, I love you, but you do not love me.
There is nothing that binds us Jews together like the traditional solidifying of our intestinal tract into a concrete block.
And please, let's not talk about the after-effects of my favorite take-to-work-during-Passover lunch: melted cheese on a matzah.
That sound you heard was my colon grinding to a halt.
Now, when I was a small child and going to seders at the home of the family matriarch (my paternal grandmother -- and you BETTER not cross this woman ... and I'm serious, young lady!), there was always something that puzzled me about the meal.
She always served this nauseating fruit compote thing for dessert.
All us kids would stare at it in horror and try to pass it off to the person to our right. Uh, no thanks, Grandma. Really! I couldn't eat another bite!
Right nasty it was, all pale and slimy-looking in a bowl.
But it wasn't until years later that I had an epiphanous moment.
It was stewed fruit, people. Apricots, peaches and PRUNES!
My grandma knew even way back then the importance of this traditional phrase:
"Let my people GO!!!!!!!!!!"