Pesach for the rest of us : making the Passover seder your own

by Piercy, Marge.

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BM695.P35 P54 2007
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  BM695.P35 P54 2007
Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 296.4 PIE
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  296.4 PIE
Every year, poet and novelist Marge Piercy creates her own Passover seder with a group of family and friends. Babies have been born and grown up, friends have moved or divorced, but the principals continue to gather in her rustic Cape Cod home to participate in a seder that Piercy takes joy in tweaking each spring to make it more meaningful. In this journey through the ritual, Piercy coaxes us toward "a significant contemporary interpretation, rather than an emphasis on what is strictly 'correct' or traditional." She reminisces about her grandmother, who thought herself unworthy to lead a seder because of her limited Hebrew but presided "morally" at the tab≤ she urges adding an orange to the seder plate; she even describes her heroic efforts to make her own gefilte fish (an experiment not to be repeated).

Piercy offers her distinct slant on each element of the feast and provides dozens of her own wonderful recipes, which she delivers in the same warm, commanding voice as is heard in her poems and prose: "When I told Ira that I was going to explain how to cook matzoh brei, he thought I was crazy. Everybody knows how to make matzoh brei, he said. But I am of the opinion that there is no longer anything that everybody knows how to cook."

It is in that spirit--no question too simple--that Piercy welcomes readers to her kind of seder: a homemade and personal affair, the kind we all wish we could attend. This charming and instructive book of Passover wisdom, brimming with favorite dishes and Marge Piercy's own moving Passover poems and blessings, invites us to look at an important Jewish ritual in a whole new way.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Pesach ( Passover in English) is the eight-day festival that commemorates the exodus of the Israelite people from their enslavement to the pharaoh in Egypt. The seder is the meal on the first two nights of Pesach in which the Haggadah--the telling--of the Passover story is read. Piercy writes that the book is not intended for Orthodox Jews but, rather, for secular and religious Jews, with a modern slant into a more satisfying and meaningful way to celebrate the holiday. She offers recipes, poems, and blessings as she delves into all the rituals and practices, and she reminisces about the seders spent with her grandmother when she was a child. Piercy, the author of 17 novels, 17 volumes of poetry, and a memoir, has written an engaging account of this important holiday. --George Cohen Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The traditional Passover seder is dissected, reinterpreted and given a contemporary and feminist bent in Piercy's guidebook to making the haggadah more readable and meaningful to today's unaffiliated Jews. Novelist Piercy confesses that her own Passover preparations are "heavy on the convenient"; for example, she will use the prohibited sunflower oil to make her dishes tasty. She wants to focus instead on what brings resonance to her observance of the holiday, like adding the Cup of Miriam to her seder table and including a Fifth Child in remembrance of those murdered during the Holocaust. Nearly every page reminds readers to change parts of the seder as they see fit, though traditionalists may feel that this approach belittles the traditional seder. Throughout are Piercy's poems recognizing many aspects of the seder; her own slightly sloppy rendition of traditional blessings into the feminine Hebrew; and ideas on how to create one's own English prayers. Memories of her Grandmother Hannah's Pesach segue into old-time recipes of the holiday's traditional foods, and an entire chapter is dedicated to mouthwatering recipes that can be used for the main meal. Some tangents in this conversational guide seem gratuitous, while others-including histories of the origins of wine, horseradish and other seder foods-are fascinating. (Feb. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Passover -- Customs and practices.
Passover cooking.
Passover -- Poetry.
Publisher New York :Schocken Books,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 283 pages ; 20 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [273]-276) and indexes.
ISBN 0805242422
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