The Passover ritual of the seder meal helps its participants to relive the Israelites’ terrifying transition from slavery to freedom in ancient Egypt. At the seder, eating the unleavened bread called matzah allows us to literally ingest this transitional experience. According to the Bible, the Israelites baked matzah because they had no time to bake regular bread as they fled Egypt on their way to freedom. Yet matzah is also called the bread of affliction and economic poverty that our enslaved ancestors ate in Egypt. When we Jews eat matzah we are trying to get a taste, actually and symbolically, of what it feels like to live with one foot in slavery and one foot in freedom. Hopefully, that makes us more appreciative of the meaning of both.
Massachusetts drivers will soon have an opportunity to purchase a “Boston Strong” license plate.
Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed into law a bill creating the specialty license plate. Proceeds from the sale of the $50 plate will go to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The phrase “Boston Strong” became popular after the attacks. It was pointed to as a rallying cry by people who in a recent survey said the terrorist attack had left Boston a better place, according to Western New England University polling director Tim Vercellotti.
As college student loan debt continues to climb nationally, lawmakers in Massachusetts are proposing some ways to help.
A subcommittee of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Higher Education approved a report this week that contains nine recommendations including trying to decrease the time it takes to earn a college degree, increase state aid, and require all Massachusetts high school students to take a financial literacy course.
Spring flooding has been occurring across the North Country this week as snowmelt runs into the region’s rivers and then flows into Lake Champlain. But most waters have receded and damage, if any, has been minor.
Since last month, big-screen viewing has been a mix of awesome and disappointing. The two films I most was looking forward to were Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and Darren Aronofky’s NOAH. Both were outstanding visually but in need of script doctoring.