Welcome to Maoist Orange Cake. Each week one of our Divas posts a thoughtful (but not necessarily serious) essay on whatever calls forth her Voice or strikes her Fancy. We invite you to join us wherever the discussion leads.
Motto of the MOC: Sincere, yes. Serious? Never!

"I would also like to add that ‘Maoist Orange Cake is possibly the best name for a blog ever. Just my twopence." -- The Sixth Carnival of Radical Feminists, 1 October 2007

The Twelfth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at The Burning Times blog and mentions one of our posts, Helen 'Wheels' Keller, for recommendation. Orangeists spreading our zest!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

HAPPY PESACH! -- by Maggie Jochild

When I lived in San Francisco during my 20s and 30s, the dyke political community that was my base was over 50% Jewish. Every Passover, we had a community seder, with a cobbled together haggadah, secular and feminist revisionism, and tons of singing. After the first one, I couldn't imagine how I'd gone my whole life without this meaningful watershed event. It became one of my top three holidays (along with Halloween and Rosh Hoshanah).

I love tsimmes, kugel, matzoh brei (the next morning), brisket, and charoses. I hate the taste of parsley (bitter indeed) and am not wild about wine. When we'd recount the Ten Plagues, we'd dip a finger into our wine and flick the drop onto our plates while shouting "Feh!" after each plague. We kept an orange on the seder plate, and we often included the Yemeni Jewish practice of flogging each other with green onions during the escape from slavery section of the story, which often turned into a free-for-all around the entire house. We stressed the role of Miriam, noting how powerful women are maligned and accused of anything under the sun to keep them from sharing leadership, and we set out a cup for her as well as Elijah.

But especially, I loved the songs. Below are my three favorites.

One is a hilarious rap remix of Dayenu done by a couple of yeshiva homeboys.

Eliyahu Hanavi is given a haunting rendition by the Vienna Jewish Choir, conducted by Roman Grinberg.

The last is Go Down Moses, sung by a genuine African-American radical, Paul Robeson -- the most sacred part of every seder for me.

1 comment:

little gator said...

Did you know there's a tomato named Paul Robeson? It's a black Russian type heirloom.

To tomato growers, heirlooms are not necessarily old, though many are. They are the old-fashioned type of tomato, pollinated by nature, and not a hybrid.

I can't say how they are. Last year all my Paul R. seedlings died, but I'm trying again this year.

From the seed packet:

One of the most highly regarded black tomatoes, this one features medium-sized deep maroom fruits that are free of most blemishes and cracking. Their flabor is complex. sweet yet tangy, and characteristic of that distinctive richness that makes black tomatoes special.