Wishing Everybody…


And to everybody celebrating one, both or neither, I wish you a healthy Spring, Ramadan, Memorial Day, Canada Day, Fourth of July, German Unity Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and whatever else you’ve got going for the rest of 2020.


  1. Thanks for the laugh!

    Norwegian gets its word for Easter from the Hebrew “Pesach”. So as we say over here at the receiving end of the Gulf stream: God påske!

  2. Hey, Bill, even if they don’t have a walk-a-thon this year, can you set up a gofundme or something?

  3. Better yet, Chak, I can still set up a walker’s page as always, even if the walk itself is indefinitely postponed.

  4. I always thought it meant “related to Passover,” but Dictionary.com says that it can be related to Easter or Passover.

  5. Dictonary.com notwithstanding, I have never heard the word used in a Passover context, and I’m a veteran of a lot of seders.

  6. Websters unabridged says that the derivation is from the Hebrew pesach – to pass over. A very old Websters even lists Paschal in this order: Of or pertaining to the passover, or to Easter.

    Jews probably don’t hear it used for passover because, why not just use Pesach?

  7. I saw that elsewhere, laughed, and thought, “I should share that with CIDU Bill.” Clearly too late. Regardless, have a happy Passover!

  8. The only place I recall hearing it in any context is in the NRSV translation of 1 Corinthians 5:7: “Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.” (Despite being a Christian book, it’s probably most fair to count that as referring to Passover in that context.)

  9. Pretty much only English calls the holiday “Easter.” In other languages it’s essentially a version of “Passover.” Because it happened to a Jew around Passover, and (as our local marsupial said above) Jesus is explicitly compared to the Seder meal in the Christian texts.

  10. (Sincere question.). In the formula for the date of Easter, with clauses about first Sunday after first full moon after spring equinox, is there really a provision about not coinciding with Passover?

  11. @ Mitch4 – The historical process of determining a date for Easter was very complex. Rather than bore everyone here with stuff that has already been written elsewhere, I’d just like to say that the fundamental problem is the difference between a lunar and a solar calendar. The result is that both systems do produce dates in Spring, but it’s rather unlikely that they will exactly match in any particular year.

  12. The biggest reason for Passover not beginning on Easter is that Passover can start on any day of the week while Easter has to be a Sunday: so although they more often than not fall on the same week, you’re adding additional 1-in-7 odds against.

  13. Bill,

    Please do set up a walker’s page. You can tell us now, then if/when the walk happens, tell us again.

  14. Carl Fink’s point about the name is true for western European languages, but eastern European languages use a wide variety of names. English inherited the name “Easter” from the same root that led to the German name “Ostern“, but the meaning of the derivation is uncertain, the best candidates are “east” or “dawn”.
    P.S. The biggest difference between English and German Easter traditions is that over here, we get both Friday and Monday off. On the down side, it’s hard to find decent jelly beans, and “peeps” are utterly unknown.

  15. 1 Corinthians 5:7 (Authorized [“King James”] Version): Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

    5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    I’d say that makes the link between Passover and Easter, from the Christian point of view, as clear as can be.

  16. Carl Fink – The last supper was a Passover Seder and Jesus led the Seder.

    For decades Robert has refused to read any of the “a participant” parts at the Seder despite my reminding him of the above. A number of small Protestant groups seem to have Seders these years based on info about same popping up in things I read.

    After we had bed bugs we stopped going to anyone’s house (and our immediate families are all high on the “might have have bed bugs list”) so I started doing my own Seder (service at home with first/second night Passover dinner). Robert still refused to read anything from it. So I have a Seder where I am the mother (lighting the candles), the father (running the Seder), the youngest child (reading the four questions – and I have not been the youngest child since 1958), and all of the participants (reading the text). I run a VERY quick Seder – quicker than even my father.

    This year we had even an odder Seder here. We are conserving our food. I only had matzo as I was sick last year and only opened one of the two boxes. In past years I would refused to used last year’s matzo for this year’s Passover, but hey, he had sausage for Good Friday because we have to work with what we have. (But no Spam at the Seder of course that is too far.) He has also been using small pieces of matzo for crackers with his soup for lunch since we have been home. Well, I actually read the Seder service slower and more of it than usual – and found out the book I have for it is missing important (in my mind) parts of the story. Robert actually volunteered once to read as a participant – so I was not all of them this year, but he would not allow the door to be opened afterwords for Elijah the prophet to enter – maybe he thought that Elijah might have COVID 19 if he actually came in? For the plate with the symbolic foods I had a defrosted frozen broccoli floret cut in half – one half for a green vegetable and the other for a bitter vegetable. Instead of a small bowl of applesauce with raisins – a drip of applesauce with one raisin in it. For a bone – I cut one out of paper.

    I made a Brunswick stew (chicken) for dinner. Before it finished cooking I took out half of it (by volume) and set it aside so we would know that we could eat the entire amount in the pot if we wanted. Ended up not eating a pint of it anyway – in husband’s thinking today – that is two lunches. The other half of the stew we had for – of course – Easter dinner! (And again a pint left over for lunches.)

    A belated Happy Easter! A not yet belated Happy Passover! or A Happy Ramadan (if Happy is the term to use – if not please forgive me anyone it applies to.) And instead of the normal “Next Year in Jerusalem as said at Seders – Next Year may be we all be well and here reading and sharing comics with each other.

  17. Oh – forgot to mention – I always think it would be easier to just put on the DVD of “the Ten Commandments” and watch instead of doing the Seder service.

  18. As far as we’re concerned, Easter hasn’t happened yet: our good friends are Greek, so we’re there every year (though this year, it’ll be a virtual affair).

    A few years ago, she asked me to explain the Yiddish word mishpuche, which she saw defined as “extended family,” but didn’t really seem to be used that way. I told her mishpuche are the people you don’t invite to Easter dinner, you just tell them what time it is.

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