Words & Banter

RED & BLACK … Easter Eggs On Passover Matzo?

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I love how this year Good Friday and the first night of Passover fall on the same day, meaning Easter Sunday also overlaps with Passover! It’s like the rare times when Christmas and Chanukah are celebrated at the same time.


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What makes this year even more unusual is Easter and Passover fall during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


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What are the odds of that? And that’s a rhetorical question. Please don’t start sending me statistics.


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The numbers are not important. But, it is a much-needed reminder that, although different religions celebrate different holidays, we are similar because we all place importance on faith and tradition.


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Says the woman who’s not a fan of holidays and wants to get them over with as soon as possible, sometimes even ignoring them.


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It is not holidays that I dislike … it is how their significance has gotten lost by all the insincere celebrations. And, the commercialism.

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Well, short of selling matzo, gefilte fish, and Passover honey cake, I’m not sure how you commercialize Passover.

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But, do you understand the meaning behind the foods and the traditions? That is what is getting lost. And although Jewish, I have always tried to understand and reconcile many Christian holidays with my own beliefs.

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To use one of your favorite words … why?

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Why try to better understand other people’s beliefs to further my own knowledge? Why try to find connections to remind me that we may have more in common than differences? Or, why take the time to respect and appreciate other holidays and traditions?

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I’m sorry I even asked.

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So, why did you take that Comparative Religions class at Wake Forest? Which, I might add, you have told me countless times was one of your favorite classes.

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Because it was required. And while I thought it would be interesting, I never expected it to be fascinating. It really opened my eyes as it made me realize that although the major religions of the world have many differences, they also have so much in common.

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Exactly. So, what do you remember about Easter?

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How when Natasha and Sawyer were young, they loved Easter, with its bunnies and candy. Between making and decorating colored eggs, buying those overly sweet marshmallow Peeps in seemingly every color under the sun, and you taking us all out for the Omni Hotel’s amazing Easter Sunday buffet brunch, it was always a favorite holiday.

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I was talking about your religion class. I know Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days in preparation for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.


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You’re Jewish; what else is there for you to know?


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I am trying to find common ground since Jews do not believe in many of the “facts” of Christianity that are a fundamental part of Easter. But I do think, to some extent, that I have the meaning of Easter figured out.


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Don’t take this the wrong way, but for the millions of people that celebrate Easter, I think they figured it out a long time ago.


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I meant for me personally. Easter makes me truly appreciate my friends, as it reminds me that people are not all alike, and that some things have no common ground to be found. But, it does not mean that there cannot be love and respect.


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I’m confused. Aren’t you the one that’s always saying how, if people realized that we have more in common, the world would be a better place? That when we focus on our differences, we tend to divide things, and people, into “right” and “wrong” and end up with “us” and “them”. Which nowadays seems to be getting worse, not better.


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Finding similarities is very different from being identical. And, that is the significance of Easter for me. Because religion is about reflection and faith, it is a reminder that different is different – not good or bad – just different.


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So, I’m almost afraid to ask. When you were growing up, before you looked for “meaning” in holidays, did you ever see any “connection” between Easter and Passover?


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Do you remember Mom making egg salad from all those leftover Easter eggs?


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I hate when you answer a question with a question.


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Just answer the question.


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Yes, of course. She was never going to waste all those hard-boiled eggs.


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Well, I remember her putting that Easter egg salad on leftover matzo. Does that count as a “connection”?

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

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Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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