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Pesach for the Rest of Us: Making the…
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Pesach for the Rest of Us: Making the Passover Seder Your Own

by Marge Piercy

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When this book was first placed in my hands by the owner of a Jewish book store, I had no idea that the author had written so many other books unrelated to Judaism. This is a wonderful little book, chock full of all kinds of goodies about the Passover seder. Each chapter dwells on one item realted to the ritual observance of Passover. Of course, the biggest thing is food! Not only do you leanr more about the Pesach (paschal lamb), matzo, and Moror (bitter herb), but you also get history, recipes, table talk, inspirational ideas, thoughts on feminism, and so forth. My only (very isignificant) gripe is that the recipes are not specific enough for me, aperson who can only cook when all directions are very clearly and precisely spelled out. So much for those of us with no natural cooking talent!

I think this book will make a fun and useful addition to our own seder. I plan to keep it moving around our seder table so that those of our guests who won't understand our Hebrew singing will be able to follow along by reading something in English that is relevant as well as inspiring...and sometimes even funny.

I'll be honest. The reason I bought this book in the first place, is because I know one of the blurbers, Rabbi Alana Suskin, whose quote can be found on the back cover. I'm glad I ended up thinking this book was euqally as good as she did. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Mar 30, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805242422, Hardcover)

Every year, poet and novelist Marge Piercy creates her own Passover seder with a group of family and friends. Babies have been born and grown up, friends have moved or divorced, but the principals continue to gather in her rustic Cape Cod home to participate in a seder that Piercy takes joy in tweaking each spring to make it more meaningful. In this journey through the ritual, Piercy coaxes us toward “a significant contemporary interpretation, rather than an emphasis on what is strictly ‘correct’ or traditional.” She reminisces about her grandmother, who thought herself unworthy to lead a seder because of her limited Hebrew but presided “morally” at the table; she urges adding an orange to the seder plate; she even describes her heroic efforts to make her own gefilte fish (an experiment not to be repeated).

Piercy offers her distinct slant on each element of the feast and provides dozens of her own wonderful recipes, which she delivers in the same warm, commanding voice as is heard in her poems and prose: “When I told Ira that I was going to explain how to cook matzoh brei, he thought I was crazy. Everybody knows how to make matzoh brei, he said. But I am of the opinion that there is no longer anything that everybody knows how to cook.”

It is in that spirit–no question too simple–that Piercy welcomes readers to her kind of seder: a homemade and personal affair, the kind we all wish we could attend. This charming and instructive book of Passover wisdom, brimming with favorite dishes and Marge Piercy’s own moving Passover poems and blessings, invites us to look at an important Jewish ritual in a whole new way.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:40 -0400)

Brings together a collection of poems, recipes, personal reminiscences, and an insightful new interpretation of the rituals and symbols of the seder in a guide to creating a meaningful Passover for the entire family.

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