Chanukah foods don’t exactly bring healthy images to mind. In Israel, this time of year every bakery in town is serving up trays and trays of sufganiyot, doughnuts with your choice of jelly, caramel or even chocolate filling.
But as people worry about their waistlines and calorie counts, indulging in a fried delicacy for eight nights may not be the best idea.
“Before using the kitchen tables, they must undergo a thorough scrubbing, and be rinsed with scalding water. It was customary in England to lay them in fuller’s earth, which is not so well known here; so it would be advisable to have coarse cloths tacked on instead. The cisterns must be cleaned, and a piece of flannel put on the nozzle of the hydrant.”
These weeks before Passover are in one coincidental way like the ancient Jews’ exodus from Egypt: everything is done in a hurry. There’s chametz to remove, boxes of dishes to shlep, food to buy, seder guests to invite, etc.
With time at a premium, who has the leisure to prepare for the spiritual purpose of Pesach — removing the chametz from us, imagining ourselves as part of the throng of ex-slaves entering an unknown wilderness? If your meals are ready for yom tov but you’re not, what have you accomplished?