Quinoa, a grain-like crop grown in South America, is not one of the grains considered chametz (wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives). Some medieval Ashkenazi rabbis ruled that kitniyot (legumes) could not be eaten during Passover because they could be confused with chametz products. Some authorities consider quinoa to be kitniyot, while others do not.
It is life we want, no more and no less than that, our own life feeding on our own vital sources, in the fields and under the skies of our homeland, a life based on our own physical and mental labors; we want vital energy and spiritual richness from this living source.
I do not have enough fingers and toes on which to count the various kinds of Passover seders I have participated in or led. So many have been close to my heart, building and reinforcing my Jewish identity year after year.
There is a moment during the N'ilah service on Yom Kippur that stays with me, always. I want to say that it haunts me, but that's really not the right image. It's more a flooding, a rushing-out-and-rushing-in-at-the-exact-same-moment kind of thing.
Reform Judaism's deep commitment to outreach and inclusion, both of Jews–by–choice and interfaith and multi–cultural families, is a core value rooted in the historic development of our Movement.
I grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in a predominately Italian neighborhood in which a prosciutto ball was more common than a matzo ball. My mother maintained a proper Jewish home where we observed Shabbat and celebrated holidays as a family.
In my family, Passover was always the most significant Jewish holiday, with memories so deep and personal they feel a part of me. My anticipation began weeks before the first seder, when my older brother practiced the four questions in Hebrew.