Precious Pesach Minhag in danger of extinction!

Seek out that fine “Americanishe” vaybel, or the Yisroo-ldike vaybel or indeed the second or third generation Oystralishe vaybel. Ask them if there is a Minhag to eat certain types of food at lunchtime prior to the Seder. I’m betting that apart from some hungarian charedi circles the Minhag is in a grave (sic) state  of decline bordering on extinction. More people know about the connection between Quinoa and Pesach than Gribbenes and Oylom Habo let alone its holy role in our Pesachdike folklore.

Minhag Avosaynu needs to be re-established, re-publicised, re-JEWvinated, and re-envigorated.  If you speak to today’s urban, upwardly mobile, modernishe husband, he is so far gone, he isn’t even aware there are specific delicacies gracing culinary Jewish tables from the days of the snake, that he is missing out on.

Yes, it’s a very busy time—the proverbial calm before the storm. The women are exhausted. The men are buying the Yom Tov gift for their wives and heading off to the Mikvah. All is ready for the Seder, or it should be by now. Breakfast had been a quick gulp and greps, any itinerant kids are carefully corralled so they don’t bring or spread chametz into the house. The last bit of unsold chametz is burnt.

You look at your 2011 “new” Haggada with a “Moiredik” set of new pirushim that will finally have you acknowledged (by ignorant guests) as the true genius of the Pesach Seder, worthy of the mantle of the חכם פון דער מה נשתנה.

Lunchtime approaches. It’s been a hectic day. You won’t be eating till after מגיד, and if those pesky know it alls start showing off, and the Ba’al HaSeder loses control of time or is himself a know it all, you’ll be tipsy and famished by the time that coveted salt water and hard-boiled egg dish makes its annual academy award appearance from the bowels of the kitchen.

But what did you eat for lunch on Erev Pesach?

There is no מצה and normally your wife isn’t going to cook any special פלייש … so let me guess, you were given this anemic bowl of green rabbit food carefully checked to make sure that worms or quasi kitniyos were nuked. Maybe you were lucky and were thrown a shtickle fish (you know, the piece that looks a bit “off” or anorexic and shouldn’t be served to the guests at the seder)

Rabosay! That’s not the way it was, nor was it the way it’s meant to be. Let’s return to our roots. Begin the revolution.

שמע בני מוסר אביך ואל תיטוש תורת אימך

The minhag is easy, nutricious, filling and is common across all different groups: chassidic, misnagdic, sefardic, centric, and I-Don’t-Know-nic. All Major Poskim have re-approved the Minhag, and even has a tick from the Heart Foundation as long as you begin with a cholesterol pill and finish with another cholesterol pill (yes, to be sure even your neighbours meshigenneh dog won’t eat the pills, wrap them in kosher lepesach glad wrap, as approved by the gastroenterological guild of gubernia)


  • Laybalach
Leybalach (Fried Liver)


  • Kartofle

 Note: Some modernishe houses have now invested in chip making machines (Rachmono Litzlan). Please note that this was never allowed in Europe as it didn’t exist, and חדש אסור מן התורה and in any case, it’s questionable whether such devices can fry in a way that allows the Nefesh Elokis to puff with real Ruchniyus. Rumour has it that the Nefesh HaBehamis, the Yetzer Hora, is strengthened by these chip machines. To be safe and keep up fealty use a simple cooked Kartofle, with lashings of fried onion and schmaltz.

  • Borscht
Roiten Borscht

Listed by the Gemora to be good for pimples, there are some who prefer the greeny/white schuv borscht extracted from lip-smacking sorrel leaves. Me? I vomit after a mere glimpse of schuv borscht as it reminds me of my first ever enema. Well, I didn’t know it was an enema until my Booba cajoled it past my epiglottis using the same wristy technique employed to stuff the gizzard of the gantz.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

8 thoughts on “Precious Pesach Minhag in danger of extinction!”

  1. mmm…look forward to this meal every year. I got delivered take away to the office this year by my darling wife and had all the goyim marvelling at the laybalach and kartofle. I should point out, I have never been a fan of the borscht…..


  2. Your post is very interesting because I had never known that it was customary. Where I grew up my mother only served the קארטאפל and fried ציבילע, the borscht never made it and the liver wasn’t available. I guess we really do need a boost of the old-time minhagim.
    חג שמח

    p.s. when speaking about “אויפן פריפיציק” The Rebbe זי”ע mentions the important of teaching the Hebrew letters and the vowel individually. He adds that we see this from the song, a song that was sung where Jews were etc. and a minhag that was established by Jewish woman from generations, even Chachomim Gedolim can not abolish.


  3. There was Minhag to eat the innards before Pesach, for fear of Chametz inside the stomach, not really applicable nowadays.

    There is a smach from he mishnah that says the שמש handed out the בני מעיים earlier there would be אכילת קרבן פסח על השבע


  4. How about minhagim for what to eat on Shabbos Hagodol? According to the Dovor Be’ito luach, some communities have such customs.


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