by Doctor Science
It's that time of year again! Two male cardinals are working out a territory boundary in the back yard, we had windows open all night, daffodils are blooming their bloomin' 'eads off, and I've spent all day in the kitchen:
See that person in the red tunic? That would be me. Fortunately, I don't have to slaughter my own lamb, but I have made Brisket with 36 Cloves of Garlic, Charoset (basic Ashkenazi style, though I used apple pie spice this time because it was right there), chicken broth, vegetables for the soup, and matzo balls (will the matzo balls be "float like a butterfly" this year, or will they "sink like a stone"? we'll see!), and hard-boiled eggs. I've roasted the shank bone and egg, and cut up the potatoes. After I post this, I'll go down and make fresh horseradish -- a pungent experience that will chase the children out of the kitchen (they'll be setting the table).
Our guests will bring poached salmon with dill mayonnaise, asparagus (which we'll roast right before serving), flourless chocolate torte with raspberry puree, and lashings of wine. In one period our oenophilic friend would bring kosher wines for the meal, but he gave up some years ago: it seems more festive to have wines we actually *like*.
In our discussion about who Ken Ham should really debate, swbarnes said:
How can you read the Flood story, Exodus, Numbers, Job, and say "yeah, this is totally a text about Justice and Love"? I'm not talking about isolated verses; the whole premise of the 10 plagues is that God was right to harm and kill innocent people as collective punishment.I didn't have time to reply back then, but I was startled, because an integral part of the Seder is to read the story of the plagues as a tragedy, not an unalloyed triumph:
During the seder, there is an almost universal custom to "spill" a small drop of wine as each plague is recited. (How the wine is removed varies from family to family: some pour the wine out directly from the cup, while some dip a finger in the wine and remove a drop). Why do we do this?It's all in how you read it, and who you read it with: and if you think it can only be read one way, UR DOIN IT RONG. Chag Sameach, all.
The Midrash tells us that as the Egyptians were meeting their horrible end in the churning waters of the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea), the angels wished to sing out praise to the Almighty. God rebuked them and said "My creations are drowning in the sea, and you wish to sing praises?!" (Talmud Megillah 10b). The custom of spilling the wine, explained the Abrabanel (a famous medieval Spanish commentator), is because wine is a sign of rejoicing. But one should not rejoice when an enemy falls, because they too are creations of God.