Pardon me, I have been, and will continue to be, busy with creative projects toward an upcoming wedding in the family. I did want to write something regarding Passover Eats, so I'm popping back in to to that now.
What makes something kosher, generally? There is a great deal of care and specificity that goes into preparing kosher food, other than mixing milk and meat. The spiritual aspects are to do with both kindness and conscientiousness. That's really all I want to post about it, because if I post, for example, a list of what one would need to do to make a blueberry/strawberry cobbler, I would be stressing the wrong thing. If you care, you can certainly find that information on the internet or in person. Also, there's a whole lot I don't know, and I don't want to present myself as an expert.
First, let me tell you that in my day to day eating, I'm semi-kosher, fully vegetarian, moving toward vegan. At home I eat kosher. Out and about... well.. there are times you need to eat something from whatever is presented, not kosher, to keep the energy from tanking (even turning downright nasty) amongst those you're with. That's life in the Diaspora, it's just a fact. People understand vegetarian (usually) but they don't understand kosher. People in mixed office or social groups do not understand that if a person wants to eat kosher, that person does not necessarily think that they are better than you. Part of the confusion is due to the fact that there are those who eat kosher who DO think that way. So I'll state my own case: Eating kosher is an energy thing. If eating kosher does not increase positive energy, decreasing negative energy, then there is little or no point to it.
And now for something (almost) completely different- "kosher for Passover". For fun, here are a few basic things.
Anything that is kosher for Passover is kosher throughout the year, but not the other way around.
Any prepackaged kosher food has what's called a hechsher - a little symbol that indicates by its design which group of Rabbi's approved it as kosher. You could think of the different symbols that car companies have, it's similar. The same way that you can look at the back of a car & know who made it, you can know by looking at a pre packaged food item who said it was kosher. Reputation of the organization plays a part, and you wouldn't assume something was kosher just because it said so (think Kosher Dill). If the particular symbol isn't known to you, it can easily be looked up. The point of me telling you that is to tell you this simple thing- a packaged food item that is kosher for Passover will have that symbol (a hechsher) with a large P next to it. To complicate matters further, there is one group who will eat legumes (a large classification) on Passover and the other will not. MY shopping process is, pick up the package with the P- then read the ingredients.
As I have formerly described myself as semi-kosher, let me write now that I am very strict with what I will consume on Passover. I'll also tell you that I was extremely skeptical in the beginning that what I ate would make a difference at all. Mind over matter, right? Consciousness, right? What I have found through my own experience, at least for me, is that it completely does.
Eating on Passover is about dialing down the ego energy of existing as a human on the planet. It is root vegetables, bread that was prepared in such a way that it would not swell or rise, and other foods that do not expand, or have expansive energy. That's all that is consumed, even come in contact with, for eight days. For me, much like Shabbat, I didn't find out its effect until I I did it completely, no cheating. At the end of the holiday, I usually want it to keep going! A few times I have actually extended it by a few days, though not completely. Once, I didn't eat chametz until the following morning, and then it was only coffee WITH creamer.
Eating kosher for Passover, after preparing by cleaning has been the most powerfully aligning meditative process for me to date. There are so many others, I'm not sure why I don't feel as buckled in to them. Perhaps more study- oh, certainly more study would lead to a more solid spiritual adhesion. Also, Passover and the preparation are a highly active process, so it pulls me out of my intellect, and over-thinking. You see, out of my intellect is not where I prefer to be!
By the way, that soap I posted before, the mauve-ish one is still quite soft. The other loaf I poured is still soft too, but seems to be coming along nicely (pictured)!