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But Is It Good For The Jews?

I've been reading all the news about the brand-new Pope Benedict XVI, and I'm not quite sure what to think about him. The Tribune and CNN.com both mentioned some interesting views he has held in the past. Apparently, he seems to believe that Roman Catholicism is the Only True Faith (to the exclusion of other versions of Christianity as well), and that it is the solemn duty of Catholics to preach the word to all the heathens out there. But I seem to remember that JPII said some years back that the Catholics would officially stop trying to convert Jews. So I'm confused. Does this mean that Benedict is reversing that decision? Will the Catholic Church go back to proseletyzing to Jews? Or was that one of those things that a pope can say that no one can undo, ever?

In other news, I've got my bus tickets and hotel room for Passover. And the local grocery store has just redeemed itself in my eyes. Against all odds, they turned up with matzoh, and I got my supply without having to schlep all the way out to the west side of Grad School Town where the ladies at shul thought I'd have to go. Now I can have matzoh brei and matzoh pizza and try out that matzoh-spinach lasagna recipe that I've had my eye on for some time now.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
I admit I was very surprised when I heard on the news that he’d dismissed other strains of Christianity as false, especially when you consider how vocal JPII was about how we can all learn something from other religions and co-exist quite happily. Obviously we’re all supposed to believe that our own faith is the right one (and as Pope of course he’s going to think that “Roman Catholicism is the Only True Faith”!!) but I can see why his views would be quite worrying now that he’s in a position of such power. The only thing is, he’s promised to continue in the tradition of his predecessor, he has worked very closely with John Paul so would understand his viewpoint, and I imagine in his new role he would have to be more open-minded in a lot of respects than as a theologian and Dean of Cardinals. If he was going to undo anything that John Paul said or did I doubt he’d have been elected. Then again, other Popes have changed things... I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of a Pope he makes. My instinct is to like him. He is very conservative but I’d be shocked if he wants us all to go trying to convert people to Catholicism.

I have no clue what matzoh is but if it makes you that happy, then I’m glad your grocery store came through for you!!
Apr. 21st, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)
Well, that's all right, then. As long as he's not going to start whipping things up between Catholics and Jews again, that's okay.

Matzoh is unleavened bread. Passover starts Saturday night, and one may not eat leavened foods for the duration of the holiday. By itself, matzoh tastes like what it is -- baked flour-and-water paste -- but the trick is learning what to do with it. You can spread it with jam, or honey, or butter and sugar. You can make it into matzoh brei (think a cross between scrambled eggs and French toast). You can put pizza sauce and cheese on it and turn it into pizza. You can put salsa and other kinds of cheese on it and turn it into a matzoh quesadilla. You can turn it into lasagna. You can do all sorts of things with it. And then there's potatoes. . .
Apr. 21st, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm hoping he doesn't. Who knows? I guess we just wait and see and trust that he acts with wisdom.

How long does Passover last? Please excuse my ignorance.

That all sounds very creative! Mmm, salsa and cheese sounds good...
Apr. 22nd, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
How long does Passover last? Please excuse my ignorance.

Hey, I know far less about Catholicism than probably I should. If anyone's going to call you out for ignorance, ain't gonna be me.

Passover lasts seven or eight days, depending, I think, on where you live. I believe (and I'd have to check this) that in Israel, it's seven days, and outside of Israel, it's eight. The first two nights are the ceremonial seder nights, but you can't eat leavened foods for the whole holiday. What counts as leavened depends on your ethnicity. I'm Ashkenazi, which is stricter about it than the Sephardim are.
Apr. 23rd, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
Really? The Ashkenazi are stricter than the Sephardim? I don't know why I thought it would be the other way around. Is that just in culinary matters (keeping kosher) or in general?
Apr. 23rd, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Sephardim allow rice and beans; Ashkenazi don't. I think that was because, if the Sephardim didn't eat rice and beans, they'd be SOL for a week. We have our gamelan concert on the last night of Passover, and right beforehand, there's a traditional Indonesian meal. . . which will include rice. Since the concert is a large chunk of my gamelan grade, and I am NOT whanging away at that demung for the entire dance drama fueled only by chicken and veggies in sauce, I am declaring myself Sephardic for that evening alone.
Apr. 26th, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)
Sounds like a plan, Pony! Have a good concert. I was just listening to some gamelan music to get an idea of what you'll be doing. Of course, this was Balinese and Javanese. Don't know if there are other kinds or not.

Thanks for the matzodilla recipe.
Apr. 26th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)
Our gamelan is Javanese. The first half of the program is concert music, and the second half is a dance drama with the Javanese dance class. It's a little segment of the Ramayana epic, about the abduction of Princess Sita and a giant monkey battle.

The gamelan teacher was telling us a little more about the meal. It's called a slamathan, and it's a ritual before many gamelan performances for the players to eat together. The centerpiece is a big heap o' rice, for luck, and everyone has to eat some. So, I will be Sephardic, for Javanese luck. Wouldn't want to screw up the rest of the group, after all.
Apr. 22nd, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
I love matzoh. It's kind of like a giant unsalted saltine. I butter mine, and we go over one friend's house most years for matzoh brie. It's rather a family tradition. I got a box of them at the grocery the other day.

The conservativism of this papal choice in particular actually worries me. I've not been a Christian of any sort in years (Though I was raised Catholic), but any time that I see something so fundamentalist at heart advancing (And I'm not quite sure that he will just maintain the status quo, there) I find it troubling for society in general.

Apr. 22nd, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
Matzoh gets crumbs all over everything, and it gets dull around day five or so, but I do like cooking with it and thinking up all sorts of new things to do with it. I'm particularly pround of the "matzohdillas."
Apr. 23rd, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
I'm afraid the only thing I know to do with matzoh is to make it into dumplings (matzoh balls) and throw it in the chicken soup. But I quite enjoy that.
Apr. 23rd, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
But of course; matzoh ball soup is the sine qua non of Jewish cooking.

However, when you get bored of that, or you want a quickie meal: Open up a can of tomato sauce and stir in salt, pepper, basil, and oregano until it looks dark, rich, and spicy. Spread some of it onto a matzoh, then cover with shredded mozzarella and whatever else you like on a pizza. Stick it in a 350 degree oven until it looks like it's done.

Alternatively, use salsa and Mexican cheese and call it a matzohdilla. If you can figure out how to do the whole fried sandwich thing like a real quesadilla, let me know.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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