Don’t misunderstand me… I love the traditions and heritage of the Jewish religion. We have a storied history of taking lots of crap from lots of people and overcoming it every single time (see www.totallyawesomejews.com/werule). However, I really feel that Moses was in the wrong when he didn’t have a little more foresight regarding getting our people out of Egypt in a timely fashion. I also feel like there must have been some leftover bread in the land of Egypt for the weary Jews to shove in their satchels and on their donkey’s backs before hauling butt through the Red Sea.
Flash forward thousands of years to your standard Jewish house. In the standard Jewish kitchen there sits a young man. A very good looking young man. There is a pained look on his face and a solitary tear drips down his cheek and lands with a splash on the smooth, dark-brown wood of the kitchen table. Do you want to know why he is sad? He is sad because his forefathers didn’t let their bread rise and now he can’t eat his oatmeal and Kashi in the morning. How in the world is this man, who has to work hard all day long, going to make it through his day without the proper amount of complex carbohydrates to fuel him and the fiber essential to keep him regular? That is the reason for his weeping.
I realize that the sacrifice is small and that I only have to avoid certain foods for eight days, whereas the Jews had to wander through the desert for 40 years. But if we want to think practically something like that would never happen again. Yes, the desert might only be filled with sand, camels, yoemen and underground bunkers, but there would definitely satellite connectivity. There is no way my smart phone wouldn’t be able to pick up a GPS signal and show me the route via Google Maps. “Walk 500 miles northeast and then take a sharp left at the old man with six teeth who sells hand-woven scarves.”
Judaism is amazing in the way that it adapts to the present. I’m not saying that I can’t and shouldn’t make the sacrifice of not eating anything with leavening during Passover. All I’m saying is that maybe I’m going to be Sephardic next year and not have so many stomach cramps because high-fiber matzo just doesn’t cut it.