Friday, April 18, 2008

Passover and converts

In all the other religious excitement going on now, I nearly missed Passover, the Jewish holiday which remembers the Exodus.

A friend of mine is in the process of converting and she's trying to figure out exactly what she needs to do for her first Passover. Jews don't usually make a big deal of the sacrifices the week entails, but it can be pretty extensive. The law requires that the house be emptied of all bread products with leavening -- which includes rice and corn syrup. Many Jews have a seperate set of dishes and cookware so the food is not contaminated. My friend has emptied most of the bread from her pantries and found kosher for Passover Diet Coke, so I think she's set.

It made me realize that people new to a faith tend to get caught up in the rules and regulations. They want to make sure they are doing everything "right." Those rules certainly have a point -- usually, the goal is to bring us closer to God -- but when does it become too much? When do we commit the sin of scrupulosity or legalism?

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