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A Green Passover

Passover is the perfect holiday for going green.

Rabbi Waskow of Baltimore sees connections between the history of Passover and today's modern environmental movement.

In 2008, Rabbi Waskow wrote for The Washington Post saying, "If in our generation we were to broaden Passover to celebrate its earthiness, we would be renewing some of its most ancient meanings — even before the Exodus. For close reading of the Bible (especially Lev. 23: 4-8 and Num. 28: 16-17) makes clear that there were originally two earthy festivals at the full moon of spring: One was the shepherds’ festival involving the sacrificial broiling of newborn lambs and a shepherds’ skipping, stumbling dance called ‘pesach — skip-over’ that imitates the skipping, stumbling newborn lambs. The other was the farmers’ festival of the spring barley harvest, celebrated by baking the simplest, most primordial of all breads, the unleavened matzot of flour, water, fire — scouring out all yeast, all rising from their homes."

So why not take an opportunity to green your Pesach?

Wine

Four Gates Wine - Organic, Kosher for Passover, California-based

Yarden Chardonay - Organic, Kosher for Passover, great with fish and poultry

Herzog Wine Cellars - Sells some wines that are Kosher for Passover, not certified organic but many of the grapes they use are sustainably grown

You might also be able to find some local Kosher wines.  Check with your local stores to see what they offer.

Matzah

Writing this is making me hungry for my dad's matzah brei.  I love it just a little sweet with some real maple syrup.  I'm noticing that organic matzah is plentiful these days.  Just visit your local Whole Foods Market and there are plenty of options for organic matzah.  

I've also looked into recipes for making matzah from scratch.  I found a few matzah recipes, but unfortunately, the right flour (approved by Jewish law - kosher for Passover) is next to impossible to find.  It might be worth bookmarking the recipe, though, if you'd like to try making homemade matzah another time.  I hear it's way better than the stuff you buy premade!

The Meals

Look for as many local products as you can.  It's still early for some local produce, but you still might be able to find some greenhouse grown goodies.   And stock up on apples to make charoset!

Support your local kosher butcher instead of picking up kosher meat at the regular grocery story.  Most will wrap up your fresh meat in paper, as opposed to getting lesser quality kosher meat shrink-wrapped on a styrofoam plate at the supermarket.  

If there are vegetarians or vegans in your home or attending a seder, there are plenty of vegan/vegetarian versions of traditional Passover meals, even replacing the lamb!  

The Seder

If you're not planning to use reusable plates and silverware (which is obviously the #1 choice!) use biodegradable options.  Clearly mark different garbage cans for your guests so they know to separate the compost, recyclables, and regular trash.  

Try to cut down on food waste, too.  The Green Prophet offers tips on how to reduce food waste on Passover.

Chag Sameach!  Have a wonderful holiday!

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