Friday, March 15, 2013

#BlogExodus: Chametz

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Today's #BlogExodus topic reminded me of the list of breads for various sins that often makes the rounds just before the High Holy Days.  Originally compiled by Rabbi Richard Israel, z.l., it goes something like this:

Taking a few crumbs to Tashlich from whatever old bread is in the house lacks subtlety, nuance and religious sensitivity. I would suggest that we can do better. Instead:
For ordinary sins, use - White Bread
For exotic sins - French Bread
For particularly dark sins - Pumpernickel
For complex sins - Multi-grain
For twisted sins - Pretzels
For tasteless sins - Rice Cakes
For sins of indecision - Waffles
For sins committed in haste - Matzah
For sins committed in less than eighteen minutes - Shmurah Matzah
For sins of chutzpah - Fresh Bread
For substance abuse/marijuana - Stoned Wheat
For substance abuse/heavy drugs - Poppy Seed
For arson - Toast
For timidity - Milk Toast
For high-handedness - Napoleons
For being sulky - Sourdough
For silliness - Nut Bread
For not giving full value - Short bread
For jingoism - Yankee Doodles
For telling bad jokes - Corn Bread
For being money-hungry - Enriched Bread or Raw Dough
For telling small lies - Fudge
For war-mongering - Kaiser Rolls
For promiscuity - Hot Buns
For racism - Crackers
For sophisticated racism - Ritz Crackers
For being holier-than-thou - Bagels
For unfairly up-braiding others - Challah
For provocative dressing - Wonton Wrappers
For snobbery - Upper Crusts
For indecent photography - Cheese Cake
For trashing the environment - Dumplings
For the sin of laziness - Any Very Long Loaf
For being hyper-critical - Pan Cakes
For political skullduggery - Bismarcks
For over-eating - Stuffing Bread or Bulkie Rolls
For gambling - Fortune Cookies
For pride - Puff Pastry
For cheating - Bread made with Nutrasweet and Olestra
For being snappish - Ginger Bread
For dropping in without calling beforehand - Popovers
For trying to improve everyone within sight -Angel Food Cake
For being up-tight and irritable - High Fiber or Bran Muffins
For sycophancy - Brownies
For rearing children incompetently - Raisin Bread
For immodest behavior - Tarts
For causing injury or damage to others - Tortes
For hardening our hearts - Jelly doughnuts
For abrasiveness - Grits
For recurring slip ups - Banana Bread
For davening off tune - Flat Bread
For impetuosity - Quick Bread
For silliness - Nut Bread
For risking one's life unnecessarily - Hero Bread
For auto theft - Caraway
For excessive use of irony - Rye Bread
For larceny (especially of copyright material) - Stollen
In taking a read down the list, it occurred to me that since we're just about at the mid-point of 5773, it might be a good time to think about last year's missteps--the breadcrumbs we tossed away on the afternoon of Rosh Hashana--and take a quick inventory of how we're doing so far this year.  

If we're lucky, we'll find just a few crumbs in our "sinventory"...and in our cabinets, cars, and couches!

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Nisan leading up to Passover 5773.