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On This Night, We Recline: A Cooking-Free Philadelphia Passover

On This Night, We Recline: A Cooking-Free Philadelphia Passover

Different families celebrate Passover in different ways, but there’s no mistaking that at the center of every seder, there are stories and food. Whether your family's style is to have a multiple-hours-long service before the meal or a hustled-through Haggadah reading while snacking heavily on hard-boiled eggs, parsley, and matzoh the whole way through, hopefully a heap of kugel and a mountain of brisket awaits you on the other side.

If you can’t be with family this year, or you hate cooking, or nothing’s as good as your Bubbe’s gefilte fish so why even bother, a number of Philadelphia eating establishments are ready to hook you up with all the classics (and a few twists, as well!) to make this a Pesach to remember.

The London Grill in Fairmount is playing host at their second-annual Seder Dinner, a $40 four-course prix fixe meal, on Monday March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 (call for reservations). In addition to the classics, the menu will offer innovative, seasonal additions like braised lamb shank with preserved lemon, a spring vegetable stew, and horseradish-crusted salmon. Quirky Passover-themed cocktails (The 11th Plague sounds particularly intriguing: Manischewitz with walnut liqueur, vodka, rhubarb bitters, horseradish, and a matzoh crumb garnish) will be available, as well as a number of imported Tabor wines. All of this can also be ordered à la carte until April 1.

Manayunk’s Zesty’s is preparing a menu that is simple and straightforward: your choice of gefilte fish or smoked salmon, a bowl of homemade matzoh ball soup, and beef brisket, roasted leg of lamb, or roasted chicken for the entrée. Macaroons or apple strudel are unfussy, sweet endings to the meal. The dinner, available March 25 and 26, is $35 per person.

If there’s one place in Philly you might expect an elevated seder, it would be Zahav, the city’s premier Israeli restaurant. Chef Mike Solomonov has added creative flourishes and thoughtful flavor combinations to this year’s Passover Mesibah menu that are surprising and delightful. The dishes are firmly rooted in tradition but sing of spring: salt cod cakes with pickled cucumbers, English peas, and horseradish; matzoh brie with sautéed chicken liver and charoset; and a whole grilled chicken with artichokes and fava beans. This gorgeous sounding menu is $48 per person, and runs from March 25 to April 2.

Chef Mitch Prensky, of Supper, has compiled an extensive list of choices for their fourth-annual Supper Seder, offered March 25 and 26. The meal will start, familiarly, with hard-boiled eggs and charoset for the table. From there follows a slew of dishes with an emphasis on farm-fresh ingredients; the "My mother’s 'world famous' (she swears!) brisket of beef with sweet potato, carrot and apple tzimmes cider macerated fruits" sounds especially tempting. Plus, who doesn’t love when a chef gives a shout-out to their mom? This five-course dinner, plus sides to share (latkes!), runs $58 per person, and $29 for children less than 12 years old.

Vegetarians and vegans, fear not! Miss Rachel’s Pantry has lots of delicious, cruelty-free catering options on deck for you. Matzoh ball soup with carrots, herbs, and celery; lentil-walnut pâté; "cheesy" sweet potato kugel with apples and dried cranberries; and tempeh shepherd's pie are all prepared without one trace of animal products, and made with love. The entire menu or items à la carte are available for delivery, or pickup from her South Philly headquarters. Call the shop for prices and more info.

Passover roundup: Our favorite Passover recipes, kid crafts, and even a free printable Hamilton Haggadah

Happy first night of Passover, to our observant friends! And to the rest of you — well, here’s hoping you score a seder invite, because this is easily my favorite Jewish holiday.

While Hanukkah gets most of the attention, Passover is a beautiful time to lie back, eat a ton, enjoy a leisurely dinner with your favorite people, drink a a few glasses of wine, welcome spring, and celebrate the ideals of freedom, perseverance, new beginnings, and teaching our children well.

All good stuff, if you ask me.

We have an entire Passover category on Cool Mom Eats to help you easily find recipes, but I’ve pulled a few of my own favorite posts from the archives to help you make the week a little more fun, a little more special.

Passover Recipes From A Philadelphia Chef

Chef Tanner, Director of the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, was the executive chef at Winnisook Club and Merlin Hospitality in New York and the Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite, California. In 2010, Tanner was recognized by ACF Capital District-Central New York as Chef of the Year. In 2011, he was recognized as Chef Educator of the Year. During his career, Chef Tanner has won more than 35 medals in culinary competitions and serves as a Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs.

The Culinary Arts Institute features a classically based curriculum in combination with a focus on current trends in the culinary industry. Students learn how to cook, explore the culture of cooking and learn the business of running a restaurant. This March, the institute is offering a variety of hands-on professional development classes on skills ranging from basic cooking to advanced techniques, including a focus on international cuisines. A lecture series featuring area chefs and wine experts will be offered.


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On This Night, We Recline: A Cooking-Free Philadelphia Passover - Recipes

Subject: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 07:25 PM

To all Mudcatters who celebrate Passover, I'd like to say, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and friends at this important time. Also, I would love to learn more baout it, esp. the food and music.

Here is a little bit I copied from a website:

Passover (or Pesach) is the Jewish festival of freedom and thanksgiving which celebrates the historical Exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Passover begins at sundown on April 19, 2000 and continues for 8 days.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 07:44 PM

Okay, LilNeo, the dietician, tell us the 100 things you can make from matzoh!**BG**

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 07:56 PM

As a treat for Passover and Easter, here's the incomparable Rabbi Lionel Blue talking on the BBC

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 07:58 PM

Well, here should be link to Rabbi Blue on the BBC that didn't make it through just now.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:01 PM

Oh nomit wasn't! But I hop this will be Rabbi Blue on the BBC

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:13 PM

Beannachtaí na Cásca fríd aiséirí ghlórmhair ár dTiarna Íosa Criost do achan duine a léas an teachtaireacht seo. Annraoi

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: GUEST,Sinsull
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:15 PM

I am fortunate to spend Passover with my "second" family every year. Chicken soup with matzoh balls is my favorite. I will try to get you all some music and recipes. It's hard to go wrong roasting an egg.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM

Matzoh ball soup
Matzoh meal farfel (kind of like a stuffing)
Matzoh bra (matzoh & scramble eggs 'To Die For')
Matzoh with cream cheese and jam (oy, that's food too)
Matzoh meal pancakes
Matzoh kishke (sausage with heavenly filling)
Matzoh Kneidlach (soup dumplings)
Matzo Meal Kleis (more soup dumplings)
Matzo Latkas (potato pancakes)
Geshmirte Matzo (cheesy matzos)
Matzoh kugel (potato casserol kind of pudding)
Matzoh Mandelbrot (Jewish cookies)
Dry wall filler
Carton packing material
Land fill

Any Hebrew Mudcatters that can help me out here?

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Annraoi, may I beg a translation, please, and apologise for being familiar with what I believe is Gaelige?

Sinsull, I like the way you have jumped right in, in the threads! Please do come back with more.

There are some great links with wonderful sound files to klezmer music here in a previous thread. Well worth listening to, IMO, esp. good examples of clarinet as a folk instrument!

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM

Have you ever been to a Seder? Many kinds. and non-Jews are usually welcomed BIGTIME.

Non-Jews in fact have been known to hold Seders. If you can find someone to show you the ropes, you could have one at your own house. Since Passover is several nights, you can ask someone to come over to make Seder with you and not make them miss their own. Some churches do or have done them. It's been so long since I went to one I cannot recall enough to get you started, ort we could have online Seder. maybe someone else can help more than I. HearMe Seder anyone.

A large part of what occurs is the telling of the Big Story, so the thing kinda makes itself happen, if you have the booklet (Haggadah, is that the right word?) with the story. Mudcatters, have you one to post for kat?

The best one I atended was given by a young Jewish woman (a college girl) who had grown up secular and now wanted to reclaim roots. It was a Seder picnic on the floor of her apartment, all of us reclining. Very Biblical!

Even if your community's Jewish population is next to nil, it is entirely possible that you can find a way to do this, this year.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mbo
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:04 PM

"Why is this night different from any other night?" The Haggadah is very interesting.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:21 PM

Kat, Mudcat Cafe may be a lifesaver for me. I work at a computer all day long and when things get quiet play on eBay. Needless to say, it became addictive and I don't know which is worse - the piles of crap littering my house or the hot dogs and beans we will be eating until my next paycheck due to a cash shortage.

I love music from the Civil War and Gay Nineties and feel as if I have died and gone to heaven on this site. Finally found someone to play with.

Favorite children's Seder parts - Elijah and the matzoh hunt.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:28 PM

And don't forget after all that Matzoh in 100 different dishes all yummy, the antidote.STEWED PRUNES

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

More like a few sticks of dynamite are required Allan S.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM

So I once worked for this Kosher catering service and. no, let's not get into that!

Best to all who celebrate these days.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 11:01 PM

thank you for your good wishes, kat and everyone. Unfortunately, this is not going to be a great Pesach for me the first major one away from home, and the campus Hillel still hasn't gotten back to me about the family they said they had room with. sigh.

Chocolate Pi (feeling homesick)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 12:20 AM

Sorry about that ChocPi. I hope they do get back in touch with you.

Sinsull, there are many of us who feel the same way about the Mudcat. It is wonderful, isn't it?

Praise, thank you, but that is more than I had in mind, for myself. I mainly wanted to honour the traditions of my many friends here at the Mudcat who celebrate this holiday.

We do have a wonderful Jewish community here and I have to the Temple several times, as well as had the honour of sitting at the same table as the community "matriarch" and her husband, when we all had dinner with Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Hilda is a WWII survivor from Austria and a remarkable, extremely kind woman.

As part of my membership in and work with the Wyoming Grassroots Project, a human rights org., I try to promote and embrace all kinds of diversity. It is all so very interesting and enlightening and heartening. I am grateful when so many of us can come together and work towards those goals. It was in WGP that I met Hilda.

I also had a lot of friends and two former bosses back east who were Hebrew. I loved it when my kids were in grade school back there. They had friends who went to Herbew classes and their music teacher taught the whole class the "dreydl" song. It was so good for my kids to learn about so many different cultures and their traditions.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 06:21 AM

Gut yuntif, everyone! (That's Yiddish for happy holiday yuntif is the Yiddish version of the Hebrew "yom tov" or good day. And Yiddish, of course, is a form of Middle High German mixed with Hebrew and other languages that became the everyday language of millions of Jewish people in Europe and worldwide. But I digress.)

It's not going to be much of a Seder for me, either, this year. I'm still too sore (surgery last week) to be traveling to the community Seder on the other side of the island. So my mom (visiting from Philadelphia to care for newly single son) and the Honolulu pediatrician who's been covering my practice and I will have a small Seder. We did find Manischewitz wine and matzah and macaroons (gotta have macaroons!) in the Safeway here in Hilo. And this year I'm thankful for my personal deliverance from a house of bondage.

One interesting aspect of the Seder is that in retelling the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we are supposed to feel that we ourselves are part of the story, that we ourselves become free people on this night. Since I was a child, I've always marveled at the mystery and the reality of that feeling. Thanks, Kat, and everyone else, for your good wishes. Neo, don't forget that you can make (almost) real cake from matzah flour and egg white and who knows what else, though it still is a little, er, binding.

And Chocolate Pi, I hope you find your Seder. I know how it feels to be away from home at this time. We'll hold the door open for you in spirit -- you are welcome.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 07:03 AM

Gut yuntif Mark,
Good to hear mom has come to nourish her adored son back to health. You are a fortunate newly single man.
I use to go out with the guy who was doing his residency in opthamology at the Toronto hospital when I use to work there.
He lived near the hospital and his mother would come to leave him freshly washed & folded clothing at the end of his bed freshly made bed, home-made food in his clean fridge and a spotless apartment vacumed & dusted. You could eat off the floor.
I just feared mom would find no woman could do the job right.

Well, I do do hope you are having a fast recover.
Having family & friends around to help can be the best medicine.
I never noticed a synogogue when I was in Pahoa.
Saw almost everything else there you could imagine but not that.

You can also make 'To Die For' matzoh brownies. I wonder if hash is kosher for Passover?

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 12:24 PM

A food warning for passover--- Never eat charoset and chopped liver at the same time. You could end up with CHAROSET OF THE LIVER Sorry that's the only passover joke I know. But too good to let pass over. OY Just finished making the chopped liver to take to my daughter's house tonight.The secret from my wifes aunt, fry 7/8 of the onions chop the last 1/8 and put it in raw. A very happy Passover to every one, and if you are alone feel free to take a sip of the wine we will leave out for Elija. I will refill the cup.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 12:37 PM

More stories of the holiday itself, please, please! My twin grandsons are named Akira and Elijah. Not for any religious reasons, just because they liked the names similarly my daughter is Jerusha, a Hebrew name. I would love to know more about "leaving wine out for Elija."

Could we have an eight day storytelling of Passover on this thread, along with the recipes (what does a vegetarian do?) and songs?

Mark, glad to hear your mom is there! Is "Shaloha" your own contraction of "Shalom/Aloha" or is it Hebraic? It is beautiful.

kat (lower case "k", please, as there is already a "Kat" registered here.)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:19 PM

Well, campus Hillel denied all knowledge of signing me up for a home seder, but put me on the list for the big communal one, so at least I'll have somewhere to go.

"Shaloha" was used as the 'theme' of the excessive double bat mitzvah my cousin (from Honolulu) and her cousin (from Detroit) (other side of the family) had. It involved a party with balloons of tropical fish and snowflakes, lots of relatives who all look alike and have the same names, more pickeled herring than I ever hope to see again, and great-aunts who asked if I had "found myself a nice Jewish boy yet."

Leaving wine out for Elijah: the prophet goes around to every household, and when the children open the doors he comes in and takes a sip of the wine it goes down as everyone watches it.

Songs: Eliahu, Dayenu, Let My People Go. My family always does "There is a Man Come into Egypt," "Dona Dona," "The Kid"(title? a cumulative song about the father going to market to buy a goat, which gets eaten by something and then the dog chases the cat and the stick beats the dog and the fire burns the stick and . and then the Angel of Death,with his ten thousand eyes comes and kills the butcher, and Gd sends an angel down which blows one puff of air and slays the Angel of Death).

Chocolate Pi (who should write that paper on Marx now so that she doesn't have to worry about the seder running late)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:57 PM

Mrs. Lev had us over for an early seder last night, and it was delightful. It was also the first chance I've had to introduce my new sweetie to Mrs. Lev. Mrs. Lev gave her blessing, even though Arlene didn't eat the gefilte fish.
Mrs. Lev, by the way, learned to play guitar from none other than Mudcatter Frank Hamilton. So did another woman I sing with. Small world, isn't it?
Happy Pesach, everyone!
-Joe Offer-
For a special Passover treat, take a look at Uncle Eli's Passover Haggadah, paying special attention to The Four Questions, in the style of Dr. Seuss.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 05:58 PM

One of my happiest memories is the time I was invited to a girlfriend's family's seder. This was in New York city, in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge (that's the northern tip of Manhattan Island, in what's now Spanish Harlem, I believe. They've lived there a long time.) The holiday was simultaneously informal, moving, and delicious. May we all have such a good holiday this year (whichever one(s) you choose). Your meshugana shicksa, Mary

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 09:44 PM

C.P.,hope you found your Seder. The song is "Chad Gadyah". One of many Passover songs (and other prayers) that is not in Hebrew, but Aramaic, the vernacular language of Israel 2000 or so years ago.

Pesach, or Passover, is possibly the oldest, and certainly one of the most important, of the Jewish festivals. I don't know all the scholarship, but like many festivals in many cultures, it incorporates religious, agricultural, and possibly prehistoric and "pre-religious" aspects. It is the spring festival, and the festival of freedom, as it commemorates the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. The number four figures prominently in the Seder: 4 cups of wine, 4 questions, 4 types of children asking about the holiday. The word "Seder" means "order", as there is a series of prayers and rituals that dates from the Middle Ages. But the holiday is one that is supposedly oriented toward children ("And you shall tell your child on that day. " And as all of us kids know, the most important ritual is "Shulchan Orech" -- the table is spread! After that come more cups of wine and more songs, but we're all asleep by then.

I'd love to add more, but I'm stuck at home on a cellular connection. Maybe this weekend I'll get into the office and talk story some more. Thanks, Joe, for the link -- I can't wait to see those Four Questions! Oh, and "Shaloha" is courtesy of the congregation on the other side of the island, Kona Beth Shalom. It seems to fit nicely.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: GUEST,Daithí
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 11:12 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:12 PM

Joe, I finally got to see Uncle Eli's Passover Haggadah. What a wonderful site -- thanks so much for finding it! I read in one of the news clips that the online version has been pared down substantially, so as to encourage sales of the book version that's just been published, but the full website will be reinstated after the holiday. I'm definitely going to look for the book. I hope that next year I'll be able to be with my daughter for the Seder at six, Uncle Eli's book will be just right for her.

Little Neo, when were you in Pahoa? No, there's no synagogue there, (nor anywhere on the Big Island, though there is one enjoyable congregation that unfortunately is a two- hour drive from me), but you'll still find people who would consider hemp derivatives to be kosher. My mom did well dealing with the geckoes that have the run of my house, and it really was good having her there, after years of strained relations engendered by my soon-to-be-ex. Thanks for your good wishes.

And a happy Pesach to everyone who wants it, ditto for happy Easter, and happy spring to all. (Oh, that's right, happy autumn to you folks way down South.)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:30 PM

Mark I wrote you a personal message about the whole story of me being in Pahoa right after you told your story about how you were going to pretend you were someone who knew the guy in the post office that had something to do with your exwife or someone's exwife and was going to play a practical joke on him. Or am I getting the story straight?
And I told you how I was on the Big Island in November and how macadamia nuts are cheaper and taste just as fresh bought in Canada. And how I took some lava rocks from the Island and felt so guilty by the time I got home that I would have very bad things happen to me from the wrath of the Goddess Peli and so I mailed all my rocks back to the Godmother Restaurant in Pahoa. I sent the rocks there because I figured if the Godmother put that much care in making such delicious food she fed me, then I figured she would take sympathy on my lava rock dilema I was now facing.
Don't asked what it cost to send those lava rocks back to Hawaii. I took a lot of rocks!
Anyway, I get a letter back from the Godmother who tells me she put the lava rocks in the backyard at the restaurant and has been pouring gin over them every month and would continue doing so for 6 months because Goddess Peli likes gin.
So I promise next time I am on the Big Island never, never, never to take lava rocks again.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Sorry, Neo, I remember now but can't seem to find the message. While Godmother's pizza is not kosher for Passover (there, so much for thread creep!), the legend about Pele bringing woe and misery to those who take rocks off the island, was actually started by a ranger in the Park back in the 60s it's all very amusingly documented in a book called, I believe, "Letters to Pele", that's sold there. And the reason people give gin to Pele is that the old Hawaiians used to give her offerings of local berries that resemble juniper berries. And you can't get mac nuts any fresher than the ones that you can pick off the ground in my orchard. But I guess you'll have to take my word on that one! :)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 09:37 PM

Just got this forwarded from my sister in Massachusetts. Seems to fit right in with the 'Cat.

If you haven't seen these floating around the net yet. enjoy!

THERE'S NO SEDER LIKE OUR SEDER (Sung to the tune of "There's No Business like Show Business")

There's no seder like our seder
There's no seder I know
Everything about it is Halachic
Nothing that the Torah won't allow
Listen how we read the whole Haggadah
It's all in Hebrew
Cause we know how.
There's no seder like our seder
We tell a tale that is swell:
Moses took the people out into the heat
They baked the matzah
While on their feet
Now isn't that a story
That just can't be beat?
Let's go on with the show!

("Spoonful of Sugar")

Just a tad of charoset helps the bitter herbs go down
The bitter herbs go down, the bitter herbs go down.
Just a tad of charoset helps the bitter herbs go down,
In the most disguising way.

Oh, back in Egypt long ago,
The Jews were slaves under Pharaoh.
They sweat and toiled and labored through the day.
So when we gather Pesach night,
We do what we think right.
Maror, we chew,
To feel what they went through!

So after years of slavery
They saw no chance of being free
Their suffering was the only life they knew.
But baby Moses grew up tall,
And said he'd save them all.
He did, and yet,
We swear we won't forget.
That. (chorus)

While the maror is being passed
We all refill our water glass,
Preparing for the taste that turns us red.
Although maror seems full of minuses,
It sure does clear our sinuses!
But what's to do?
It's hard to be a Jew!
So. (chorus)

("Gilligan's Island" Theme)

Recline right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started many years ago in ancient, old Egypt.
We Jews were forced to work as slaves, they suffered an ordeal.
We celebrate our Exodus with a three hour meal,
a three hour meal!
The Pharoah was an evil man, his wrath had just begun
If not for the effort of the fearless Jews.
we'd be worshipping the sun. (2x)

They landed in the desert after parting the Yam Suf
With Moshe. and with Aharon too,
each Israelite and his wife --
With Betzalel, with Nachshon and Miriam
here on Passover night!

Congregation Eitz Chayim, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Wish I knew who the author was! A bit of a gloss: Halachic = according to the law and tradition. Charoset = a mixture of apples, nuts, and wine, symbolizing the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves when building for the Egyptians. At one point in the Seder, it is mixed with maror = bitter herbs, usually (hot) horseradish, and eaten as a sandwich with matzah. Yam Suf = Red Sea (literally, Reed Sea, which was evidently garbled somewhere along the line).

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:06 PM

Those are great, Mark! It's fun to read of all the goings back and forth of you and LilNeo and those rocks guess I'd better give mine some gin, or do ya think wine would do, I've got a lot of Pele fire in me.*BG* Also enjoyed the history and definitions. Forgive me an ignorant question, does Pesach commemorate the deliverance from Masada(sp)? I read a book about it, years ago, but I don't recall the details.

I have a wonderful book, The Metaphysical Bible Dictionary which bases its meaning on direct translation of the ancient Aramaic, of which you speak. Very interesting.

Don't tax your cellphone that gets expensive!

Merry Times, everyone! It's also almost May Day/Beltane!

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:34 PM

No, kat, Masada was much later. Pesach commemmorates the events in the second book of the Bible, Exodus (Sh'mot, or "Names", in Hebrew), after Joseph went down into Egypt and the Hebrews became successful, "there arose a king who knew not Joseph", I believe it was Ramesses but I may be wrong. Somewhere around 4,000 years ago, I believe, but don't quote me. Egyptians, not Romans. Here's another interesting bit. The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, is derived from a Hebrew word meaning limit or enclosure. The rabbis say that we should feel the retelling of the story as an opportunity to escape whatever encloses us and prevents us from reaching our full potential.

Thanks again, kat, for starting this enjoyable thread. Happy Easter/spring/MayDay/Beltane to you.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 10:41 PM

Well, I sure didn't know that Passover was when students gave gifts to the guitar/banjo teacher. so was I AMAZED when Michael K gave me a brand new JVC "DUAL TAPEDECK. " and then Banjo Bonnie brought over a "COMPLETE PASSOVER MEAL!!" (with NO ONIONS!) I'm dumbfounded and greatful to have the kind of friends I do. Whew! OyVay!

Looks like if I ever DO get religious, Judaism's got a head start!

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:17 PM

But the big question Rick. have you been circumcised?

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 01:19 AM

Oh, Rickeeee. don't forget to give us earthlovers/druids/pagans/wiccans a chance, too. we don't care about your appendages being altered.**BG**

Mark, thank you for the clarification. I am really enjoying this very much. I leant that book out that I'd mentioned, but I really, really enjoy learning more about the esoteric meaning of words and their origins. Wanna talk kabbala?*G*

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: MK
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 01:24 AM

Perhaps we can arrange for the "Moyul" from the Seinfeld episode!

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 05:33 AM

Say, Kat - do the earthlovers/druids/pagans/wiccans have kneidlach soup and gefilte fish? If not, I think I'll keep my yarmulke on, at least for this week.
Mazel tov.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 07:02 AM

Well my word. Brother Rick scores real big don't he? Look gang, Ol Spaw used to work for a kosher catering service, is one real fine kinda' guy, and could USE any number of JVC products AND a good meal. so where does this goyboy sign up for the largesse? Hellfire, I'm already eat up with guilt. PLUS, I done BEEN circumsized so I figure I'm all set.

But if Rick wants to go the Judaism route, I will be happy to send THIS and my only request is that the camera included be put to use and the pix published here at the 'Cat!

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM

OK goys, gals and shiksas, put away the knives. This boy has always avoided "clip joints" of ANY persuasion. No more "cutting remarks" or "slice of life" stories allowed. If you've got any more "hot tips" for me, keep 'em to yourself.

Naturally I was afraid that Catspaw might see this thread and turn it into something unfit for (passover) dinner conversation, and of course I was right. The mensch is incorrigible, and is probably slumped in front of his computer plotzing over his putz humour.

Truth is, because of my rather prominent schnozz, wickedly brilliant wit, ironic outlook on life, exceptionally anglisized name (Fielding might have been changed from Feldman) and uncanny ability to imitate Jackie Mason, I've often FELT Jewish. Now if I could just summon up the nerve to take out the "bris" blade on my Swiss Army knife and. Nahhh, I don't have enough material to play the Catskills. I'll just stick to worshipping Woodie Allan movies.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: MK
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 04:53 PM

There are many days Rick, I feel like "Broadway Danny Rose".

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 08:46 PM

Rick, I promise not to tell any Mohel jokes, as long as you've heard the one about the wallet. (There, that oughta fix 'em!)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 08:47 PM

Hey there are day's I feel like Portnoy too, granted though I have never whacked off in a piece of liver, but uh, is that important. Hellfire, I even had a cousin who hung himself with a note atached to his shirt which said, "I did it. I admit it. I killed Christ. Signed, Morty." Now that's guilt. So where's my food? Where's the tapedeck? I mean like, where's the love for the Buckeye?

Spaw (All kidding aside, those were wonderful thoughts and gifts you guys. Rick, you are I'm sure honored and justly so. but I'm sure as much by the friendship as the gesture)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: MK
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 09:04 PM

Thanks 'Spaw.
(Truth be known he sorely needed a new deck, and I also wanted to make sure any original taped arrangements I brought over for him to hear, sounded accurate, instead of everything phasing in and out and sounding like *Wayne Newton singing Danke Shane, on PCP.)

(No offense to Wayne Newton fans.)

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 09:07 PM

Michael K., what you did was a wonderful generous offering from your heart.

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Subject: RE: BS: Have a Happy Passover!
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But where's the love for the freak? Look guys, Rick found me a nice gift over on the "E-Bay vs. Local Music Store" thread and its only $11.49. If its a requirement, I'll even go by some liver and uh.


This Thread Is Closed.

Mudcat time: 21 May 8:13 PM EDT

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.

Lead A Kick-Ass, Jewbarrassment-free Seder!

Hosting a Seder is a lot like throwing an awesome dinner party with props and a set agenda. It includes lots of drinking and eating and singing, which generally makes for happy guests. And you don’t have to worry about what to serve or whether your guests will find anything to talk about. The Seder will keep them busy, and since most of the food is traditional, menu planning is a snap. Just remember that making the Passover story come to life for your guests matters more than the matzah balls. What if it’s the only Jewish experience some of your guests have the entire year? It’s your job to inspire them with some fun and spirituality. Yes, that’s a lot of pressure, but you’re up to it! (Plus, we’ve got you covered with these steps for a Kick-Ass Seder.) Side note for hosts: We’re not sure whose genius idea it was to ask the littlest kid at the table to recite the Four Questions, in Hebrew no less, but if you’re planning to go with tradition, make sure to check in with the kid or the parent first. Clearly, we’re projecting, but some of us at JewBelong still remember the anxiety we felt when it was our turn.

Gefilte fish: We don't know what's in it either.

Thinking of those who are still persecuted

The Jewish people have a history of being persecuted, and Passover is a holiday that exemplifies that. That's why an important aspect of Passover is to take stock of the history of persecution and recognize the persecution of people of all faiths and backgrounds around the world today. It is a reminder that as Martin Luther King Jr. put it: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And it is a call to action to hold fast to the Jewish principle of tikkun olam, or repairing the world.

Want more Woman&rsquos Day? Subscribe to Woman's Day today and get 73% off your first 12 issues. And while you&rsquore at it, sign up for our FREE newsletter for even more of the Woman's Day content you want.

Low-Carb, High Flavor Summer Recipes For The Whole Family From ‘Keto BBQ’

Sticky and sweet barbecue meats. Fluffy corn bread. Sweet tea. If you thought you&rsquod have to give up all these barbecue favorites just to be successful on the keto diet, think again! Keto BBQ, a new book from Simon & Schuster (a ViacomCBS company) by Faith Gorsky and registered dietician nutritionist Lara Clevenger, will give you lots of keto options for both family-friendly meals and guest-worthy backyard celebrations.

Take these Grilled Chicken Shawarma Kebabs paired with Jalapeno-Cheddar &ldquoCorn Bread&rdquo &mdash together they come in at only 2g net carbs per serving and are sure to satisfy all your barbecue cravings. Made with almond and coconut flours, cheddar cheese, and jalapenos, the &ldquocorn bread&rdquo is a perfect complement to the savory Middle Eastern-flavored, deliciously-marinated chicken. With more than 100 recipes for low-carb, keto-friendly marinades, barbecue sauces, and condiments grilled meats and seafood salads and sides and drinks and desserts, Keto BBQ will entice you out to the grill all summer long.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Kebabs
Get ready for a culinary trip to the Middle East! If you want to simplify the ingredient list, instead of the cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger, allspices, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves, paprika, and cayenne pepper, just use 3 tablespoons of Arabic Seven Spice.

&bull 3 tablespoons unsweetened plain whole milk yogurt
&bull 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
&bull 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
&bull 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
&bull 3&frasl4 teaspoon salt
&bull 1 teaspoon ground cumin
&bull 1 teaspoon ground coriander
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon ground black pepper
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon ground ginger
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon ground allspice
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon ground turmeric
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon ground fenugreek
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon ground cardamom
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon ground cloves
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
&bull 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes

1) In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chicken. Whisk to combine well, then add chicken. Use your hands to combine so chicken is well coated.

2. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but up to 1 day.

3. Lightly spray grill grate with cooking oil. Preheat grill to medium heat.

4. Skewer chicken on four metal or wooden skewers.

5. Grill kebabs about 4&ndash7 minutes per side until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F and is fully cooked.

6. Let meat rest 5 minutes before serving.

Per Serving
Calories: 168 | Fat: 6g | Protein: 26g | Sodium: 485mg | Fiber: 1g | Carbohydrates: 2g | Net Carbs: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Grilling Tip
If you&rsquore using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes right before skewering the chicken so they don&rsquot burn or splinter in your meat.

Jalapeño-Cheddar &ldquoCorn Bread&rdquo
This keto &ldquocorn bread&rdquo pairs perfectly with many barbecue meats and will satisfy your corn bread cravings! The salty, tangy Cheddar is a perfect pairing with piquant jalapeno peppers. This has about a &ldquomedium&rdquo spice level, but feel free to add more or less jalapenos to suit your taste.

&bull 1 cup almond flour
&bull 2 tablespoons coconut flour
&bull 11&frasl2 teaspoons baking powder
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon salt
&bull 1&frasl4 teaspoon garlic powder
&bull 1&frasl8 teaspoon ground black pepper
&bull 2 large eggs
&bull 1&frasl2 cup whole milk
&bull 1&frasl2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
&bull 3 drops liquid stevia
&bull 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
&bull 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
&bull 1 medium scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
&bull 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, Shredded

2. Line an 81&frasl₂” × 4₁&frasl₄” loaf pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray parchment with avocado oil.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vinegar, stevia, and butter.

5. Beat wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in jalapenos, scallion, and Cheddar.

6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Use a spatula to smooth the top.

7. Bake 50 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out dry or with just a few crumbs.

8. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Per Serving
Calories: 173 | Fat: 14g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 188mg | Fiber: 2g | Carbohydrates: 3g | Net Carbs: 1g | Sugar: 1g

How Long Will Corn Bread Keep?
If you wrap this bread well and store it in the refrigerator, it should keep up to 1 week. After it&rsquos been refrigerated, we like to toast the slices under the broiler before serving.

Excerpted from &ldquoKeto BBQ&rdquo by Faith Gorsky and Lara Clevenger, MSH, RDN, CPT. Copyright © 2021 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photography © James Stefiuk. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. Simon & Schuster is a ViacomCBS company.

This Rare French Aperitif Deserves a Spot on Your Bar Cart

An American distillery is making Picon with smoke-tainted wine salvaged from Napa Valley.

It started with a mistake, as good ideas often do.

Robert Cassell was traveling from Paris to meet a Cognac distiller in Beaune, but his miscalculation of the train schedule left him with hours to kill inside Gare du Nord, one of Paris&aposs central train stations. The co-founder of Philadelphia&aposs New Liberty Distillery and the Connacht Whiskey Company in Ireland did what any curious distiller would do: he grabbed a seat in one of the station&aposs cafes, and zeroed in on an unfamiliar menu offering.

"Picon," he remembers thinking. "I have no idea what that is, I don&apost know how to say it, so I&aposm gonna order it."

He was served a beer. Or what he thought was a beer. After a few sips and a cursory Google search, Cassell understood what he was drinking. And he was intrigued. "Everybody refers to it as Picon, but it&aposs the modifier of the beer. You&aposre basically just getting this light ale, and you add in the aperitif."

When Cassell finally made it to Beaune and told his French contact about his train station "discovery," the man was unimpressed. "He looked at me blankly and said &aposyes?&apos" Cassell had a moment of self-awareness, decided to stop acting like what he called a "dumb American," and moved on.

But he didn&apost stop thinking about his train station beer and Picon, a drink one of Cassell&aposs employees called "The Paris citywide" in reference to Philly&aposs iconic shot-and-beer special that originated at beloved dive bar Bob & Barbara&aposs. And years later, he got the chance to make his own version of the French aperitif in the City of Brotherly Love.

French distiller Gaétan Picon first created his eponymous aperitif in the early 19th century, using Gentian liqueurs and Quinquina, an aromatized wine made with Cinchona. (The latter contains quinine, which is used to treat Malaria—Picon&aposs own diagnosis was his impetus for first creating the drink.) Though what&aposs now called Amer Picon is a staple in French cafés, it&aposs nearly impossible to procure stateside since it&aposs not exported to the U.S.

Paul MacDonald, head bartender at Philadelphia&aposs Friday Saturday Sunday, says he&aposs only ever gotten his hands on a bootleg bottle here and there. "I haven&apost worked much with Amer Picon simply because it has never been reliably available in Pennsylvania," he says. But when he gets the occasional order for a Brooklyn cocktail—which calls for Rye, vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and a quarter ounce of Picon—he uses his own blend to approximate the flavor of the French aperitif.

"My favorite way is a fussy mix of Tempus Fugit Gran Classico for bitterness, Ramazzotti for viscosity (and the darker flavors), and Pierre Ferrand Dry Cura๺o for orange flavor," he says. McDonald says the hard-to-find spirit is right up his alley, and he may get the chance to stock a local version soon.

After co-founding Philadelphia Distilling in 2004, and working at Victory Brewing before that, Master Distiller Robert Cassell launched New Liberty in 2014. The South Kensington-based distillery specializes in craft whiskey—including bourbon, rye, and Dutch malt, using barley from local Deer Creek Malthouse. But they&aposre also constantly experimenting with new creations, making white rum, liqueurs like sour cherry and Creme de Violette, and a Zinfandel cask-finished whiskey. It was his relationship with Chateau Montelena, a Napa Valley-based vineyard where he procured the casks, that propelled him to make American Picon.

Last summer, when he heard about the wildfires raging through Napa, Cassell checked in on his contact at Chateau Montelena. The staff was safe, but they worried about the damage the smoke would do to their grapes. The vineyard harvested a small amount, which they made into wine, but analytics revealed a trace amount of smoke—not enough to really taste it, but enough that they wouldn&apost make their usual vintage.

Cassell told him, "Don&apost throw it away, I can come up with something to do with it." So they sent him some of the wine, which was essentially unoaked Cabernet.

While the master distiller was brainstorming uses for the potentially smoke-tainted wine, he recalled his train station Picon, thus kicking off the process of making his own. There was a lot of trial and error. "There&aposs not a huge amount of info on what the traditional way was to make Picon," he says.

For Cassell&aposs version, they steep cinchona bark in a distilled spirit for a short time (it can get too bitter quickly, he says.) After straining out the bark, they combine the bitter spirit with the red wine, and that mixture sits for a month or two before it&aposs added to a third mixture𠅊 distilled spirit that&aposs been steeped with bitter orange peels. After testing batch after batch, using different ratios and steeping times, Cassell finally nailed his American Picon. The finished version is orange-forward, bitter with a hint of sweetness thanks to the fruit, and clocking in at about 30 percent ABV. "This is a really interesting aperitif," he says.

Tone Keutzer and Jacob Looney, part of the distillery&aposs team, have created cocktails using their new aperitif, including a classic Picon Punch, made with grenadine and the distillery&aposs apple brandy. They&aposll sling them from their new patio bar this summer, garnished with sprigs of mint from their on-site garden. The American Picon will also be mixed with a beer from local craft brewery Love City𠅊 French citywide𠅍uring a Philly Beer Week event at modern French restaurant Forsythia this June.

Cassell hasn&apost sent the team at Chateau Montelena a sample of his American Picon yet, but says he will. And he&aposs already thinking about his next concoction. "I&aposm using the rest of that red wine next year to make an artichoke liqueur."

Know Thyself, Family Rules, 11 January 2015

Series Overview: The purpose of this series is to cast a vision for a healthy church family, noting particular strengths and weaknesses of Scio in the process.

Big Idea: A healthy church family knows its identity.

Who are you? I don&rsquot mean you as an individual, but you as a church? Who are we? We are Scio Community Church, but who are we? What is our identity?

When meeting a new person, it&rsquos common to ask, &ldquoWhat do you do?&rdquo Individuals are often identified by their vocation. &ldquoI&rsquom a doctor.&rdquo &ldquoI&rsquom a teacher.&rdquo "I&rsquom a student.&rdquo That&rsquos what they do, but it&rsquos not the totality of who they are as humans.

An ancient Greek aphorism/saying/maxim says, &ldquoKnow thyself.&rdquo It has been attributed to Socrates and others, was used by Plato, referenced by Benjamin Franklin, found above the Oracle&rsquos door in the movie The Matrix , and serves as the motto of Hamilton College (NY).

One year ago we looked at what it means to be followers of Jesus and our identity&hellip in Christ . Our study of Ephesians had a deep impact on my life as I am beginning to understand God the Father says the same things about me as He says about Jesus: &ldquoYou are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.&rdquo He says the same to you (unless you are female, in which case He calls you His beloved daughter!&rdquo).

As Scio Community Church, we are more than merely a group of individuals. We are greater than the sum of our parts (or persons). The Bible describes the church as a body.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

It is described as a temple. It is called God&rsquos field. It is the people of God.

Perhaps the most common word used to describe the church&mdashand certainly Scio Community Church&mdashis family.

For many, the word &ldquofamily&rdquo elicits positive thoughts and emotions, feelings of love, warmth, respect, affection, and loyalty. For others, pain and heartache are closely associated with family. offers these definitions:

a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.

a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.

any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins:
to marry into a socially prominent family.

a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants.

The definition has changed through the years. Just observing popular television families reveals the transitions our culture has experienced. Think about the differences between the following families:

Little House on the Prairie
The Waltons
All In The Family
Happy Days
Home Improvement
Modern Family

A few years ago Coca Cola did this commercial that expresses a contemporary definition of family about as well as any&hellip

According to Coke, family is anyone you want it to be! Fortunately the Bible is our authority, not Hollywood or Madison Avenue!

Family was God&rsquos design from the beginning&hellipand I don&rsquot mean Adam and Eve. Family existed before them!

Then God said, &ldquoLet us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.&rdquo (Genesis 1:26)

Did you catch it? Let us make mankind&hellipin our image and likeness. Although the word trinity does not appear in the Bible, the concept of one God in three Persons is clear. We worship a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All God. All family. All creating and doing God stuff together! Each has their own unique roles and relationship to the other Persons. It is something of a mystery&hellipbut God models for us community&mdashfamily!

Our winter series, Family Rules , is a double entendre rules is both a noun and verb. The purpose of this series is to cast a vision for a healthy church family, noting particular strengths and weaknesses of Scio in the process. When people talk about church, they could mean a building. They could mean a Sunday morning gathering. It is common to refer to the universal church of all followers of Jesus Christ worldwide. For much of this series family will refer to us&mdashScio Community Church.

As I said, that word has baggage for many. We strive to be a healthy family, not a dysfunctional, broken family. No family is perfect, but I hope through this series you will gain a greater appreciation for our Scio family and be challenged to make it stronger, healthier&hellipand possibly larger as healthy things tend to grow.

Of all of the images used to describe us, why would God choose family? Simply, God created the first biological family of Adam and Eve and co-created with them Cain, Abel, and their other children. His design included a father, a mother, and children&mdashthree people in one unit. It kind of reminds me of the Trinity!

Likewise, God the Father functions as our Father, the Holy Spirit&mdashcalled the Comforter and several other terms&mdashplays a significant role, and Jesus is our big Brother. We are called sons and daughters of God. We are called into relationship not only with God, but with one another.

If you recall last week when we concluded our series on Mary, we noted Jesus&rsquo own words regarding family:

Whoever does God&rsquos will is my brother and sister and mother.&rdquo (Mark 3:35)

It&rsquos not uncommon for people in our Scio family to refer to one another as sisters and brothers&hellipand for good reason. We are related&hellipby blood&mdashJesus&rsquo blood.

Paul wrote most of the New Testament of the Bible and frequently referred to other believers as brothers and sisters (e.g. 1 Cor. 8:13 2 Cor. 2:13 Phil. 2:25).

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)

Peter referred to us as family, too:

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17)

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:9)

Have you ever had a close friend that felt like a brother or sister&mdashor even more so?

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

You can choose your friends, but you don&rsquot choose your family. You are born into or adopted into a family. In one sense, God adopted us into His family.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will&mdash to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith&hellip (Galatians 3:26)

In another sense, we choose to become a part of the Scio family. Your attendance and participation communicate your desire to make this your church family, though unlike earlier times, there are options. In fact, there are about three hundred options in Washtenaw County alone! It&rsquos not uncommon for selfish, consumeristic impulses to prompt people to go &ldquochurch shopping,&rdquo but that was never God&rsquos design for His family. The variety of church options is both a blessing and a curse, an opportunity to customize and contextualize and also a way to divide and segregate.

The aforementioned metaphor as the church as a body with different parts usually refers to individual people being individual parts, though I believe it could also refer to individual churches in a community, each unique and special and in need of one another, partnering together knowing the nightmare and pain of a detached body part! We do not try to compete with other area churches, but rather complement and partner with them. We need them and they need us.

This raises the question, &ldquoWhy are there so many churches in Washtenaw County?&rdquo What separates us from St. Luke Lutheran Church, St. Francis of Assisi, the Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church, or even our neighbors down the road, Covenant Community Church?

Geography is a legitimate reason for multiple churches in our county. It is ideal to be involved in a church family close to your home, for a variety of reasons (even though few in the Scio family live near our Scio facility!). Practically, the 350,000 or so residents of our county would not fit in our sanctuary for worship&mdashor any facility in the area, for that matter!

Theology is another factor that makes us distinct from other churches. There are significant differences between Catholic and Protestant churches (and Orthodox). We all refer to ourselves as Christians and are genuinely brothers and sisters, but significant historical events have revealed distinctions such as the role of the Bible, the Lord&rsquos Supper, Mary, and church traditions. There are some wonderful, godly Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox and plenty of Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox who look nothing like Jesus and merely consume religious goods and services.

Under the umbrella of Protestants lies a host of denominations, roughly 43,000 worldwide with some predicting 55,000 by 2025! Ugh! Theological differences account for such a large number.

Another distinction between Scio and other local churches is our methodology or style. Some churches worship with pipe organs, others with lasers and rock bands. We&rsquore somewhere in the middle! Some facilities have stained glass and steeples while some churches meet in school auditoriums or night clubs. We&rsquore somewhere in the middle! Some are formal, use the King James Version of the Bible and have ministers in robes while others are informal, use modern translations, and have ministers in shorts and flip flops. We&rsquore somewhere in the middle!

Perhaps the one thing that makes Scio Community Church&mdashour family&mdashunique from other church families is&hellipyou! Us! People! We even have a sister church, Saline Community Church, in the Alliance with similar beliefs and practices (albeit somewhat different geography) but they don&rsquot have you! God has assembled a unique collection of men, women and children to call Scio their church family. You are the church! We are the church!

We are a people&mdashGod&rsquos people.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God&rsquos special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

We are a chosen people who both exist as a family and who are on mission together. There is an aspect in which we are , but also in which we do. We have been invited into relationship with the Father and challenged to live out our calling. We participate with God on His mission. Specifically,

We exist to fulfill the Great Commission and follow the Great Commandment by
&bull serving our communities
&bull sharing our story
&bull sending disciples to bless the nations

so that God is glorified.
There is so much more to say about our Scio family&hellipand we will in the coming weeks. The first rule for us as a family is to know who we are&hellipand Who&rsquos we are!
You can listen to this message and others at the Scio podcast here . You can also subscribe to our podcast here .