Berger’s Burg: Passover and Easter share a number of similarities

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Don’t be agnostic — be something. — Robert Frost

A look at the calendar reveals that the Jewish holiday Passover will begin March 30. Easter will follow April 4. The Council of Nicaea, in 325, established the rule that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring — that is, unless the date falls on the first day of Passover, in which case Easter is moved to the next Sunday. Lucky I remembered all that.

Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking. — Dean William R. Inge

The Jewish and Christian snowbirds and snowflakes from Queens, who spend the winter months in warmer climes, will return to celebrate the joyous holidays with family and friends.

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. — Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The eight-day observance of Passover celebrates freedom, newness and rebirth. It marks the birth of the Jews as a people and their emergence as a nation. It is a time for Jews to recall that their people were once enslaved in Egypt more than 5,000 years ago.

Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but — live for it. — Charles Caleb Colton

Easter celebrates the Cross, the church and rebirth. Both are reverent and happy holidays and children play significant roles.

Don’t wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day. — Albert Camus

During Passover, Jewish families will join at their Seder (feast) tables to recall the story of the Exodus and reaffirm their faith and freedom. The children will be sent looking for the “afikomen,” matzohs hidden by a member of the family.

We are a rather big-headed little species in a vast cosmos that can do without us very well. — the Rev. George Carey

Similarly, the Easter observance marks the celebration of the resurrection of Christ and the beginning of His new life. Christian families gather at their Easter tables to recall the story of Jesus. The children are then sent looking for colored eggs, which were hidden by the Easter Bunny. Eggs are viewed as the symbol of life by Jews and Christians.

I consider myself a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, and Confucian. — Mohandas Gandhi

During the celebration of the holidays, I often worried the contrasting traditions might confuse children of mixed marriages. But I never realized the toll they take on the fellows who bag the holiday groceries until I went shopping for my daughter-in-law, Alicia. Two specific purchases in my cart, one matzohs and the other pastel tablets of Easter egg dye, confused one bagger.

The church exists for the sake of those outside it. — William Temple

He asked cautiously, “Are both of these yours?” “Yes, and the lamb shank, the horseradish root and the chocolate bunnies.” You see, Alicia, my Gentile daughter-in-law, sent me shopping for the Passover/Easter dinner she will be preparing. I also lugged home three bags of chicken, brisket, eggs, matzoh, horseradish and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol with a smile on my lips.

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed. — Voltaire

Christian and Jew set aside all business and social engagements to observe the holidays. Around the Seder/Easter table, they congregate to pray, sing and teach children the importance of the holidays.

I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right. — the Rev. Billy Graham

Despite knowing the woeful winter weather will return the following year, the celebrants bask in the awareness that spring will return and so will another Passover and Easter.

Let’s give God a big hand. —Anonymous

At this wondrous time of year for Christian and Jew alike, allow Gloria and me to wish you and your families the happiest of holidays.

To my Jewish readers: A wish for a zeesin pesach (sweet Passover), hope and joy. Let all the sweetness of the Seder be with you and your family throughout the year. And may the children find the afikomen quickly so the Passover feast can begin.

To my Christian readers: A wish for a sweet Easter of health, hope and joy. And may the children find their colored Easter eggs promptly so their Easter feast may begin.

And to all peoples everywhere: A wish for a world devoid of illness, a world full of love and a world at peace. Amen! (Christian) Ooh-main! (Jewish).

Contact Alex Berger at

Updated 5:54 pm, October 10, 2011
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