The Do's and Don'ts of Passover


By Christina Sterbenz

For those of you that were deprived as kids and didn't see A Rugrats Passover, you're in for a lesson. Last night marked the beginning of Passover, a weeklong Jewish celebration that commemorates when the ancient Israelites escaped Egyptian enslavement. According to the Bible, God helped the Israelites escape by inflicting ten plagues upon the people of Egypt—we’re talking frogs, blood, boils, locusts, and ultimately, the death of the firstborn son. When Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Israelites go, they left in such a hurry that their bread didn’t have time to rise. So, during Passover, Jews observe the tradition by eating matzoth, which is flat, unleavened bread (and yes, you will notice it being served all week in the dining hall).

Since about 25% of Syracuse’s student population is Jewish, chances are that you know someone observing Passover. As our personal way of celebrating, we’re passing along some do’s and don’ts to avoid pissing off your Jewish friends.

1. DON’T wave your donut, bagel, or other yeast-laden breakfast delight in front of your Jewish friend’s face. Remember, it’s kind of like the Atkins diet – they basically can’t eat carbs.

2. DO respect their observance of the week. Since beer isn’t kosher for Passover, try starting up a round of Manischewitz pong.

3. DON’T rent The Prince of Egypt and constantly replay it all week. I’m sure the Jews appreciate your support, but listening to you belt out “Deliver Us” over and over gets old – fast. Plus, watching Moses sob after his brother’s son dies get me every time. (Sorry for spoiling the plot.)

4. DO treat yourself to Chinese food and a movie. Since our Jewish friends monopolize these activities on Christmas Day, we need to reclaim our territory. Try Number 1 Kitchen near South Campus, and then go see Hanna at Regal Cinemas at the Carousel Mall.

5. DO buy them these plague bags. They include red food coloring for the blood plague, sunglasses for the darkness plague, and Styrofoam balls for the hail plague.

So find a way to jump on that Passover wagon and get your Jew on.