“And with bitter herbs you shall eat it…”

I’m going to take advantage of the extraordinary circumstances this Passover to do something I’ve wanted to do for years: use belgian endive for maror. The sequence of the Passover Seder enjoins us to eat maror (bitter herbs) twice, once dipped in charoset (a paste of apples, nuts and cinnamon), and once sandwiched between two pieces of matzah. (The presence or absence of charoset on the ‘Hillel Sandwich’ is a most interesting topic I’ll reserve for another time.) There areRead more

The Joys of Disagreeing

It’s an expression we’ve all heard. A discussion begins, a disagreement rears its head, and someone says “let’s agree to disagree.” In other words: end of discussion. The phrase, I suspect, is the result of an Anglo-Saxon attitude that finds something vaguely obscene in an open disagreement. It’s probably allied to the mentality that keeps Americans from using the word “toilet” to describe–well, a toilet. Disagreements are viewed as socially uncomfortable, and standing by your guns and defending them inRead more