May 9, 2016

The Pizza Transition

For thousands of Jews who observe Passover, the obligatory Pizza at the end of the holiday signals the end of the holiday. A good friend of mine ordered 6 pies to be delivered to the homes of his married children and at least one friend. It seems that after weeks of preparation, the pizza signals the all clear sign. Most pizza stores who open within minutes of the end of the holiday sell only whole pies and the lines in many of them, at least in the major cities, is out the door. My friend waited 2 hours until the 6 pies were completed. Ironically, if he waited just a few hours until the next day, the wait would be no more than 10-15 minutes, but then again the pizza did not have the same value. For many, there is nothing like the first pizzas out of the oven at the end of the holiday. In the past few years, thanks to social media, the first pizzas were even auctioned off for charity.

In many hotels, pizza is made throughout Passover, albeit not the traditional way, but as soon as the holiday is over the ovens produce the regular pizza and even rolls and bagels. Again, pizza is the symbolic divider that signals the end of Passover and ushers in the long summer months. Jews greet one another with “a guten zimmer” (“have a nice summer”). We never look at foods the same way at different times of the year. Dipping an apple in honey other than on Rosh Hashanah has no meaning. Eating matzoh all year round does not have the same effect as eating it at the Seder and somehow eating pizza all year round is simply not the same as having it at the end of the Passover holiday.