Sunday, April 20, 2014

United by Eggs

היום חמשה ימים בעמר
Today is five days of the omer
הוד שבחסד
A day of humility in a week of loving kindness

On Easter Sunday and the 6th day of Passover, it seems appropriate to write about eggs. Eggs are featured prominently in both holidays, both on a culinary and symbolic level.

I will admit that, while I've learned much more in my later years, I don't have deep knowledge of the Easter rituals. In my childhood I didn't even know what it represented. Being a New Yorker, I know people strolled down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the women wearing big hats. I knew that eggs were tied to the holiday in the form of chocolate. And it seemed like it would be lots of fun to spend a day dying eggs all sorts of colors.

For Passover, of course, eggs loom large. Next to matzah, it's the one ingredient that's in almost everything that appears in Jewish food in one form or another. It seems like every recipe for anything contains at least 3 eggs and sometimes up to 12. I don't know how observant Jews who are vegan make it through the week.

Although Christians and Jews may eat their eggs different on these holidays, much of the symbolism of eggs is shared. Eggs represent creation and life and spring. We celebrate rebirth and liberation, and the reminder that we can start each cycle of our lives with hope.

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