Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rapture and soft maṣṣah

Greetings.

Jewish date:  16 ’Iyyar 5771 (Parashath Beḥuqqothay).

Today’s holidays:  Day 31 of the ‘Omer (Judaism), Feast Day of Bernardine of Siena (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Edward II (Church of the SubGenius).

Note:  I am working my way through An Episode of Flatland, so there is another theological review coming up, though with the other things I am trying to do, this will take some time before it gets written and published.

Topic 1:  The Rapture according to Harold Camping is tomorrow (21 May 2011).  See “May 21: Is the end near?”, “May 21 End of the World: Harold Camping's $72M business”, and his farewell letter.  Please note that though the end of the world as we know it has been predicted many times before, all of these predictions have been wrong.  If the Rapture actually happens tomorrow, I will be nothing less than shocked.

Topic 2:  Back to discussing Pesaḥ.  One thing they have over here which I only heard about in the United States is soft maṣṣah.  The maṣṣah available in the United States is hard and brittle, more of a cracker than a proper bread.  But maṣṣah in the old days was softer.  E.g., korekh literally means that one wraps the maṣṣah around the qorban Pesaḥ (paschal sacrifice, which would be lamb or baby goat) and maror (bitter herbs).  (See “Soft Massa: It’s the Real Thing”.)  I was delighted to find soft maṣṣah commercially available in Israel, and so I bought a three-pack to examine them myself.  These were not the first that I ate; at the sedher I attended they had soft maṣṣah.  The following pictures are of the maṣṣah I bought myself.

This is the box the maṣṣah came in.  Do note that according to the instructions on the box indicate it should be kept frozen, unlike brittle maṣṣah, which requires no refrigeration.  The box was kept in my freezer until Pesaḥ.  I put the box in the refrigerator and let it defrost.

 This is what a soft maṣṣah looks like.  I thought it would look more like a pita than this.

It is also fairly thick.

A soft maṣṣah compared with a brittle maṣṣah.

Comparative maṣṣah thickness.  The soft maṣṣah is noticeably thicker.

Not visible in the photographs are the physical properties.  It is much less bendable than pita, though (expectedly) a lot more than brittle maṣṣah.  It still is flexible enough to wrap lamb and romaine lettuce in it.  The taste is fairly doughy, even though it is thoroughly baked; it takes getting used to.

Topic 3:  Sunday is Lagh ba‘Omer.  “Lagh Ba’Omer - A Gratuitous Holiday” claims that the holiday is not what it is commonly claimed to be.

Topic 4:  For today’s religious humor (something I have not done in a while: “The LOLcat Passover story”.

Peace and Shabbath shalom.

’Aharon/Aaron
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