Mix-And-Match Holidays
04/15/2011 - 12:55

Despite all the buzz about Chrismukkah a few Decembers ago, no one has yet, as far as I know, proposed Eastover or Passter (or would that be Eastach or Pester?). Since I’m no fan of mixing religious holidays, I think that’s a good thing.

But for those who do like to mix and match, a kosher gift basket company, The Challah Connection, is actually selling “Passover and Easter Traditions in a Box." The company also sells products for Muslims under the name The Halal Connection (I swear I’m not joking!)

Speaking of mixing holidays and faiths, I have to say that one thing that made me a little squeamish about the Cokie & Steve Roberts Haggadah (besides the quotes from Jesus and the pope) was their description of putting leftover dyed Easter eggs on the seder plate “so we don’t waste them.”

Not for me (and a moot point anyway, since Easter comes after the seders), although I might consider Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael’s suggestion of putting an artichoke on the seder plate: “Like the artichoke, which has thistles protecting its heart, the Jewish people have been thorny about this question of interfaith marriage,” she writes on InterfaithFamily.com (referenced recently, along with other nontraditional seder plate adornments, in JTA).

Another option for acknowledging interfaith families on Passover is to incorporate some Jewish Outreach Institute readings into the seder. When the door is open for Elijah, they suggest saying:

We open our door to receive the herald of a new age. But we don’t just open the door for Elijah. We open it so that all who are hungry may come and eat, all who seek connection to a meaningful heritage may come and learn, and all our friends and family may find welcoming hearts and open arms in our holiday celebration.

 They also offer a "fifth question," which I suppose one could add after the recitation of The Four Questions:

On this night we celebrate proud Jewish traditions with friends and family, but who else in our lives might find meaning and value in our Passover Seder that we haven’t yet invited to join us?

And for those of you who want to incorporate some multimedia fun into your seder this year, I highly recommend the Four Sons video from G-dcast and "Les Matza-rables" from Shalom Sesame. Hat tip to InterfaithFamily.com and JewishBoston.com, which has even more Passover videos on its YouTube channel.

Chag sameach (Happy Holiday)!

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Eastover has occured this year, and it was wonderful. No need for concern; it was only on a half-empty college campus in a small town of Vermont that no one's ever heard of, but it nonetheless happened (just fyi).
We weren't trying to be heretical or disrespectful to either religion, we just wanted to include everyone in an evening of food, friends, celebration, and thankfulness. I am happy to announce that it couldn't have been a more perfect evening; everyone enjoyed themselves and had a chance to reflect on whatever religion/beliefs they hold. We intend to thus hold Eastover celebrations every year henceforth, if for nothing more than a time to be thankful for our friends and lives (which, honestly, is what religion is all about anyway, isn't it?).

Its hard to find two holidays that are more antithetical to each other then easter and passover.