Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What To Do With All That Left Over Matzoh

There always seems to be quite a bit of matzoh left over at the end of Passover, and maybe not so much inclination to continue eating that "bread of affliction" after a week of being weighted down by the great unleavened.  And so, the question is posed, what to do with all that left over matzoh?

By way of an answer, here's an amusing and creative music video called, "20 Things To Do With Matzah" that might help you out:

Over on http://jewishrobot.com/work/matzahsong, it says the following:

Title: 20 Things To Do With Matzah (2008)
Client: Streit's MatzosMusic: "20 Things To Do With Matzah" written and composed by William Levin, lyrics by William Levin and Michelle Citrin, performed by Michelle Citrin and William Levin
Video: Directed by William Levin and Michelle Citrin, camerawork byJesse Epstein, edited by Simon Weaver, starring Michelle Citrin and William Levin, tee-shirts provided by PopJudaica

Passover music video sponsored by Streit's Matzos. The video was featured on Yahoo! Video in the Butterfinger Comedy Network and the Yahoo! front page where it received over 100,000 views in the first 48 hours.
The video has now received over 1 MILLION views on YouTube for Passover 2009.
Mentioned on the Time website, April 9, 2009: So You Think You Know Matzo?New York Times Arts Beat, March 3, 2010: Road to Broadway Is Paved With ‘Matzah’
View the website: MATZAHSONG.COM

And, if you have some more ideas of what to do with your matzoh, let us know!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pharoah Gets a Bad Rap

As we come to the close of another Passover season, here's a Pesach-themed rap song to remind us of the redemption from Egyptian bondage:

Over on YouTube, the write-up goes like this:

Rap By: Matt Bar
Beat and Music Production: James "Jamo"mims and Ori Salzberg
In Partnership with: 12Tribe Films Foundation
Film By: Giving Tree Productions www.givingtreeproductions.com
Chorus: Moses at the red sea, like "who's gonna follow me?" Phoarah's in the tide, we gonna ride, to our destiny, In back of me, so sad to see, them bodies in the red sea chariots get buried, b-b-buried in the red sea Pharaoh sat and laughed when a staff became a snake, too long we've been your slaves, just let us go and pray, said "don't make this mistake," no pardon his heart was hardened, so started what we regard as: the days of 10 plagues...

one: blood in the river gonna shiver, gonna freak out
lips take a sip now there's blood in your mouth

Two: frogs in your house on your beds on your plate
don't matter what's for dinner better like frog legs

Three: knats buzz buzz watch the dust turn to bugs
itch itch hard to think with all the lice in your mugs

Four: beasts roam your streets when you step outside
there's a tiger on your tail nowhere to hide

Five: death of your livestock, flesh dries up
b-b-bodies in your barn pharoah when you gonna wise up?


Six: boils on your flesh no less than torture
careful of the ash in the air it'll scorch ya

Seven: hail rains down beats your brains down
like a message from the heavens better lay our chains down

Eight: locusts from the coast you can hear their wing click
eating crops eating trees til they're used as toothpicks

Nine: darkness, dispatch, 3 days pitch
remember when this started and you thought it was just witchcraft

Death of the first born how did it come to this
ten is what it took so we all would remember this

I like the way they incorporate the Negro spiritual, "Go Down Moses," into the mix, which serves as an excellent reminder of the contemporary struggle against prejudice and racism that made for common cause during the Civil Rights movement, and continues to do so, as we pursue social justice, to this day.

In honor of this great legacy, let's listen to a rendition recorded by the immortal Paul Robeson:

There is no mistaking Robeson's gravitas, but for a lighter, jazzier, more celebratory version, who can match the brilliance of Louis Armstrong?

So, as we go forth from this sacred time of year, let us remember our songs of liberation, and the promise of freedom!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Every Easter weekend, network television treats us to a showing of the Passover story, in the form of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 motion picture, The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston.  Did you catch it last night?  I did.  I just love seeing Edward G. Robinson, best known for his gangster roles, playing the villainous Hebrew, Dathan.

Here's an old trailer for the film:

But I am also very fond of the 1998 Dreamworks animated version of the Exodus, The Prince of Egypt.  Here is the scene where Moses encounters the burning bush.  As I recall, the voice of God comes from Val Kilmer, the same actor who plays Moses, the idea being that God is, as the prophet Elijah described it, that still, small voice within:

And here is the film's musical rendition of the exodus from Egypt.  This is what the fan write-up on the YouTube page says:

"When You Believe" is the Official Movie Soundtrack of Prince of Egypt.

In the film, this song of inspiration is performed by the characters Tzipporah (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Miriam (sung by Sally Dworsky). The protagonists of this ballad recall tough times that have them questioning their faith: they have prayed for many nights to God but those prayers seem to remain unanswered, and they wonder if they are wasting their time. Nevertheless, they realize that although times may be difficult, "there can be miracles when you believe" in God.

It's a sweet song for a sweet holiday, and I love how they work the Hebrew prayers into it.  And what better way to sum up the spiritual message of Pesach, than the simple statement:  There can be miracles

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chalk It Up to Moses!

Here's a charming and creative retelling of the Passover story, courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism's Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, one of the URJ's summer camps, located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin:

We are happy to receive OSRUI's wishes for a Happy Passover, to pass them on to you, and to send our own Pesach greetings back in return. Chalk another one up for Moses!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Exodus Online

has provided the following YouTube video for the Passover holiday.  What if the Exodus were happening today?

Although the title is "Google Exodus," followed by "What if Moses had Facebook?" this short video runs the gamut of the online environment these days.  

Gotta love the Amazon plagues department, but maybe there should have been some new plagues, like computer viruses, internet worms, Twitter fail whales, hard drive crashes, and no signal?  Can you think of any other online plagues for a virtual exodus?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


With best wishes for a Zissen Pesach, a Happy Passover, from Congregation Adas Emuno, here's a lovely music video from The Ein Prat Fountainheads, graduates and students of Midreshet Ein Prat, Israel:

Dayenu,  indeed!  Coming home is certainly sufficient, and at Adas Emuno you can always feel at home!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Background Briefing on Passover

With the first Seder almost upon us, here is a traditional view on the meaning of Passover as it relates to the history of the Jewish people, courtesy of YouTube's TorahChannel, and GoldharSchool.org:

As Reform Jews we do not necessarily take the Orthodox view on Biblical history presented here so cogently by Rabbi Goldhar, but are asked to make up our own minds about what ought to be taken metaphorically, and what literally.  

More importantly, it is incumbent upon us to decide for ourselves about the meaning and value of Jewish traditions and beliefs--as the Rabbi explains, above all, to ask questions.

 And it helps to begin by understanding our traditions and beliefs, to make informed and educated decisions about our spiritual life, and especially when it comes to this celebration of the defining moment of the Jewish people, Pesach.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reform Congregations Join Together for Passover Morning Service

Reform Congregations Join Together

for Passover Morning Service

A Passover Morning Service will be held in Leonia on Tuesday, April 19 at 10:30 a.m., with three Bergen County area Reform congregations participating.  

Leading the service will be Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro of Congregation Adas Emuno; Rabbi Steven Sirbu, Cantor Ellen Tilem and Rabbinical intern Daniel bar Nahum of Temple Emeth; and Rabbi Jordan Millstein and Cantor Nitza Amit of Temple Sinai.  
Musical accompaniment by pianist Beth Robin.   

Kiddush light luncheon will follow the service.  Open to the community. 

Congregation Adas Emuno is located at 254 Broad Avenue, Leonia.  For more information, call 201-592-1712 or visit www.adasemuno.org.