Open Phones: Passover and Easter Extras

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Are you celebrating Passover or Lent in your own way? Jews: What’s the FIFTH Passover question for 2009? Christians: What did you give up for Lent that fits the times?

Comments [94]

charleskaiii from nyc

Inbal where was the Apr 8th international passover musicians I was interested

please mail me charleskaiii at yahoo

Apr. 11 2009 06:20 PM
Judith De Leo from Manhattan

Every Lent, I still give up candy, ice cream, and all other sweets because that is what I did as a child growing up in St. Francis De Sales parish. I am proud of the fact that from age six on, I never once cheated. This helps me with my struggle to give up smoking (a sin). In recent years, I have also tried to curb all unnecessary spending during Lent and give more to Manhattan's ubiquitous panhandlers, but the arithmetic was too hard. This year, hearing on the Brian Lehrer show that charitable constributions are down because the wealhy are feeling the pinch of the economic slump, I decided that instead of random giving, I would make a modest lump sum contribution to one charity. (I am retired and living on Social Security and food stamps so any contribution would surely be modest.) When I realized that Easter and Passover are so close this year, I decided to make a contribution in memory of Lynda, my Jewish sister-in-law, who passed away from a brain tumor to Gilda's Club where I hope Lynda's warm and generous spirit will feel at home.

Apr. 08 2009 04:07 PM
Andre Schklowsky from Brooklyn, NY

On all other nights, going through the Holland Tunnel (or over the GW Bridge) takes 30 to 40 minutes. Why is it that on Passover night it takes "For Ever"

Apr. 08 2009 12:43 PM
Lucille Merkowitz from Fresh Meadows, Queens

Fifth question--What can we do to forgive past grievances to renew positive relationships with friends and/or family?

Apr. 08 2009 12:07 PM
julieann from NYC

If we only gave each other the respect and individual rights that everyone deserves. If we only did not want power over others. If we realized that we as human beings should have the free will of doing what we want as long as we are not harming one another. If we only truly cared the way we are suppose to. If we did not dominate others or care too. If we are free to live without guilt. If we loved ourselves and each other about all things. Put our energy into building values not taking them away. Let people be free to live as they choose. We don't need sacrifice we need respect and love. With that the world would be a better place.

Apr. 08 2009 12:06 PM
Keren from Cobble Hill

Is this condemned by the Palestinians, who claim they are a people and have a culture and a religion? Not at all. They fall all over themselves taking credit and giving out candies.

And I will remember the appeasers and the cowards in the West who don't have the courage, for the sake of all the dead innocent Israelis and Palestinians to ever put the conflict in context preferring the easy way out of condemning & hypercriticizing Israel and the Jewish people (13 million people) then the more courageous and honest analysis that may force them to condemn Arabs & Muslims (1.3 billion people)

Apr. 08 2009 12:05 PM
Keren from Cobble Hill

Hamas, during the Gaza operation, continuing it's policy of murdering dissenter in Fatah and elsewhere and in the Arab media after the major fighting ended, Hamas manipulated the Arab and world media with it's usal blood libels against Israel, exaggeration and lies of civilian deaths in Gaza - though bizarrely, in the midst of all this Hamas found the money, resources and will to deploy it's usal bluster and conduct a "victory" parade in the streets of Gaza - with the usual shouts of hatred about Israel and Allah Akhbar.

That's how I will remember the war in Gaza - a war that could have been easily avoided had Hamas not extend it's decades long terrorist occupation of Gaza and had it's lethal combination of violence, lies, hatred & blame.

I will remember the lies told on page 1 about Israel by those in the media and their Jewish enablers in the West who are a lot more fearful of Islamic wrath and physical threats - than letters to the editor by a handfull of pro-Israel housewives and students.

Lastly, I will remember the Palestinian ax-murderer who walked into a peaceful Jewish village, a place where people meditate and make handicrafts, a place which absolutely refused to surround itself with a barbed-wire fence. He finds two little boys - a seven year-old and a bar mitzvah boy- and attacks them( at least one FROM THE BACK) killing the Bar Mitzvah boy and injuring the younger child, then
running away.

Apr. 08 2009 12:05 PM
Keren from Cobble Hill

#55 Anita

Here's how I will remember Gaza at the Seder and forever.

The Israeli government forcibly ethnically cleansed approximately 8,000 Jews from Gaza destroying dozens of communities including schools, synagogues, kindergartens and cemeteries with the idea that it would lead towards peaceful coexistence with the Arabs in Gaza.

The opposite happened. The day after Israel expelled the Jews from Gaza, Palestinians destroyed the remanants of all Jewish holy places and life in Gaza and and notably, visciously destroyed tens of millions of dollars of greenhouses built by Jewish residents of Gaza who had their lives and livelihoods uprooted for a phony "peace."
Jewish donors in the Diaspora purchased these greenhouses in order to donate them to the Palestinians.

Additionally, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups could not contain themselves so the day after the 8,000 Jews became refugees from Gaza, they started a relentless
wave of rocket attacjks targeting Israeli civilians of all religions.

Hamas’s charter calls for destroying Israel, for murdering Jews everywhere. Gaza has been a launching pad for thousands of illegal rocket attacks against Israel for years. Hamas committed heinous war crimes, violating the Geneva Conventions by launching rockets from residential neighborhoods and using civilians as human shields. Israel warned civilians of impending attacks with leaflets and phone calls.

Apr. 08 2009 12:03 PM
julieann from NYC

I am an atheist but I must say that the bible is one of my favorite books. I must say that Jesus was a great teacher. In the bible Jesus dismissed the mosaic law. Instead he said that there are only 2 laws one must follow, and that is love thy neighbor as yourself, and love god above all things. Today religions expect you to give up too much. What do we prove by giving up the things we love? Must we really sacrifice or feel guilt for not sacrificing. Remember love, love does not need sacrifice. Love is giving because we want to, not because we have to.

Apr. 08 2009 11:59 AM
Marian Russo from Brooklyn NY

Lent in the traditional sense is to give up all animal products ,to change your way of thinking and acting and in doing so save money that will be used to feed the need and bring you closer to the happiness that will happen at Easter.

Even if we don't act to the historical letter of the fast, I still give up the extras ( meat, eating out, ice cream etc) and keep a box handy for change to "feed the hungry".

The money left in my pockets at the end of the day are put in that box and brought to church at the end of lent. I do feel better doing so.

Apr. 08 2009 11:55 AM
jewbaiter-baiter from

"rick" -- just stop

Apr. 08 2009 11:53 AM
rr from

80 needs exercise. get out and play, man!

Apr. 08 2009 11:52 AM

Benjamin Kaplan from Manhattan,

I think caller Susan, who talked about victimization, was channeling Martin Buber. To see more, to see our relations with others not in the typical institutionalized way, but to make a higher connection, however brief.

It seemed to me a profound comment, not just for Jewish people to contemplate about their image of themselves, but for everyone to contemplate about their own perception of themselves.

Apr. 08 2009 11:50 AM
mel from edison from United States

Why are civilian casualties caused by all other countries treated differently than civilian casualties caused by Israel.

When all other countries cause inadvertent civilian casualties they are not accused of genocide and told that they have no right to exist.

When Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties but some civilians are killed inadvertently (usually because Hamas fires from civilian areas), the number of casualties is exaggerated and the claim is made that Israel no longer has a right to exist.

Apr. 08 2009 11:49 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Ohhh so it does sting when someone say "give up the victim mentality" and "get over it"..interesting how you can relate now.

Apr. 08 2009 11:45 AM
Rose Rowland from Croton-on-Hudson

The Fifth Question:

Since we were slaves in the land of Egypt, what will do to free slaves being held in today's world?

Apr. 08 2009 11:41 AM
Angela Houk from East Orange, NJ

For Lent we gave up all excess spending. We committed to pay only our essential bills, basic groceries and regular charitable giving. We did this to remind ourselves how simply we can live & meet our needs. It's amazing how cutting out little things ca make a big impact over time. At Easter dinner we will discuss what to do with that surplus we saved.

Apr. 08 2009 11:40 AM

caller Susan:
Martin Buber couldn't have said it better.

Apr. 08 2009 11:40 AM
Benjamin Kaplan from manhattan

I did not understand the caller who said "we should give up the victim mentality". Isn't the message of Passover, that we were slaves in Egypt? The "victim" mentality is 6000+ years old and should NEVER be forgotten.

Apr. 08 2009 11:39 AM
Benjamin Kaplan from manhattan

I did not understand the caller who said "we should give up the victim mentality". Isn't the message of Passover, that we were slaves in Egypt? The "victim" mentality is 6000+ years old and should NEVER be forgotten.

Apr. 08 2009 11:39 AM

In response to the Gilad Shalit/Hamas comment: Israel holds thousands of Palestinians without charge, many of them under age. Not that Brian would ever acknowledge that on the air.

Apr. 08 2009 11:38 AM
jason from nyc

I gave up watching the Knicks....

Apr. 08 2009 11:38 AM
Chichi from Stockholm

Hi Brian.......i love your show. So i gave up meat for Lent and as a meat lover, its been very difficult.

Apr. 08 2009 11:37 AM
Dallas from NYC

My son asked me this morning as I began my preparations to spend the evening with my family: "Why are you shaving?" And I thought, 'well that does make this night different from any other'

Apr. 08 2009 11:37 AM
reality check from

to jews

by jews

Apr. 08 2009 11:36 AM

Brian- Jews aren't victims in Israel/Palestine. get a clue!! they are the victimizers!

Apr. 08 2009 11:36 AM

5th Question: when will American Jews stop supporting the human rights and international law violations routinely and regularly committed by Israel against the Palestinians?

Apr. 08 2009 11:35 AM
Sharon Mast from Bronx, NY

5th Passover Question:

Why are these CEO's different from all other CEO's - rewarded for failure rather than only rewarded for success?

Apr. 08 2009 11:35 AM
Dan from NJ

Let's not go too far. The Passover celebration is not commemorative of historical events. These things just never happened.


They didn't.

Apr. 08 2009 11:35 AM
Rachel Loonin from The Bronx

My 5th question is:

Now that we are free people, we are we doing to repair our world and return to a more complete existence?

Apr. 08 2009 11:34 AM
Julie Curtis from Bethel, CT

As a secular, NYC-born Jew, the 5th question was always: "When can we EAT?" Seders were all about the food, never the religion...

Apr. 08 2009 11:34 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

My fiance is giving up talking about the wedding.

Apr. 08 2009 11:33 AM
Ruben Safir from Brooklyn

My Fifth Question is Why do we let the MTA to spend our money without supervision...

Apr. 08 2009 11:32 AM
Sharon Mast from Bronx, NY

5th Passover Question:

Why are these CEO's not like other CEO's who were traditionally compensated only for success?

Apr. 08 2009 11:32 AM
Ivey from Brooklyn

Shopping, and somehow I have managed to spend about the same amount, but it has made me really mull over the essentials which I plan to buy for spring, ie rain coat, a couple of deck chairs.

I think that after Easter I will continue to shop only every 6 weeks so that I may really spend my money wisely.

Apr. 08 2009 11:31 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Losts of Blasphemy in here!

Gave up swearing for lent...very tough!

Apr. 08 2009 11:31 AM
Mike from Manhattan from Manhattan

giving up something for Lent that "fits the times" misses the point - the kind of sacrifice that Lent is about is transcendent and the current ups and downs don't even factor in.

Apr. 08 2009 11:30 AM
Joel from Briarcliff, NY

At one point in my life I realized that there was only one question with four answers. So, my fifth (second) question is: Why is it called "the four questions?"

Apr. 08 2009 11:27 AM
Robin T. from Manhattan

To tell the truth, we've had to cut down on so many extras since last fall due to the economy, that I didn't even think about giving an additional something up for Lent. Maybe I should give up worrying, while there's still four days left in which to enjoy the fast . . . .

Apr. 08 2009 11:27 AM
Anita Feldman from East Village, New York

Here is my fifth question: Since we remember, with so much grief, what was done to us in the Warsaw Ghetto, how should we remember what we have done in Gaza?

Apr. 08 2009 11:26 AM
Doug from Montrose, Westchester County, New York

I gave up screen time for Lent. Between my lap top computer, blackberry, television and dare I admit it - video games late at night, I spend most of my time staring at a screen. For lent I have given up all TV watching, all video gaming. I'm only logging onto my computer to do the essentials and answering email at one set time during the day. I have to say, I have noticed that my mood is better. I'm more connected to my family and friends. I'm going to try to stick with this.

Apr. 08 2009 11:23 AM
markBrown from

My fifth question this year, will be

"please allow me and my family another year in our home, and allow us to avoid bankruptcy"


Apr. 08 2009 11:23 AM
Keren from Cobble Hill

5th Question:

When will the minority of Jews with battered-wive/Stockholm syndrome stop internalizing the growing wave of global leftist/Islamist Jew-hatred and stop making grotesque comparisons between Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto?

Apr. 08 2009 11:23 AM
MDRansom from Cobble Hill

Gave up the red meat thinking of all the harm the meat indistry may cause, and the price of good beef is through the roof especially at New York steak houses, and last night I had a dream about a white cow with flowing white hair on its head. May be lasping from Catholicism into Buddhism? Or is is it Hinduism?

Apr. 08 2009 11:23 AM
Regina from hackensack

The trend (for Catholics) is not so much giving up things, but doing positive things, that is, “love in action”.
For example, visiting an elderly person who is sick or who lives alone, or helping someone who needs it.
While fasting and giving up luxuries builds character and spirituality, the emphasis has been on acting as Jesus would have acted - being charitable to people, forgiving rather than being bitter, and so on.
Personally, I’m trying to pray more, give more food to my church, (they distribute it to people in the community who need it), and basically trying to think about others more than myself. Keep the faith, baby!

Apr. 08 2009 11:22 AM
john from new york

I have observed lent not for 40 days but only 1 week during the Holy Week - that might be cheating! People only talk about giving up something but it is also important to reflect and meditate on your life.
I gave up many aspects of pleasure like sex, alcohol or meat but what was harder to do is to the reflection on my life itself.

Apr. 08 2009 11:21 AM
sandi lanson from white plains

Every year we say This year we are slaves next year we will be free. Why are we not all free.

Apr. 08 2009 11:16 AM
David Phillips from Palisades

A teacher of mine once suggested that for Lent to take something one liked and double it for the month rather than give it up. If you smoked a pack a day, smoke two. If three cups of coffee, six. Ice cream, chocolate, chewing gum, no matter what anyone chose, the thing that previously was a comfort, became a sacrifice a sacrifice of one's ordinary comfort. It became a taste of sacrifice that was on a differnt conceptual and was stunning.

Apr. 08 2009 11:16 AM
Anita Feldman from East Village, New York

The fifth question we should ask, I think, is
"What should we remember, this year in Jerusalem?" (An appropriate reply: "If I am only for myself, who will be for me?" Or, maybe, "Looking at what we've done in Gaza, we should remember what was done to us in the Warsaw Ghetto.")

Apr. 08 2009 11:16 AM
stefanie Weiss

From a special Hagaddah insert created by Jewish Voice for Peace, this is part of a song protesting Israeli militarism by Chava Albertstein:

On all other nights I only asked four questions, and tonight I have a fifth question:

"How long will the cycle of violence continue?"

The last paragraph of the Hagaddah insert says the following:

May our stories and actions liberate us from separation and unite us in a common peace. Next year in a united, free and joyous Jerusalem, capital of Israel and Palestine.


Apr. 08 2009 11:16 AM
JJL from NJ

5th Question

Will we as Jews keep the pressure on our fellow Jews to be modest, honest, moral regardless of reigning law? Will we continue to be MORTIFIED by the Madoffs among us? Or will we shrug our shoulders and say, "oh well, he may be Jewish but that's just human nature, he's just a bad egg?"

I have always been proud of the moral high road that has been instilled upon me in the name of Judaism. But after a year that included the uncovering and arrest of a filthy and immoral kosher meat distributor, unnecessary Israeli attacks on the Arabs in Gaza, the sadistic Madoff, etc., I wonder, "to what extent will we as a People take responsibility for these actions, and what will we do about it now?

"Do we take the high road (regardless of what the so-called rest of the world thinks/judges)...or not?"

Apr. 08 2009 11:15 AM
jennifer from manhattan

instead of giving something up, i take on a spiritual practice for 40 days. this year i've been watching spiritual and secular documentaries.
i also have a few friends who gave up facebook for lent or holy week.

Apr. 08 2009 11:14 AM
Aveen Stephenson from Manhattan

My husband, a practising Catholic, gave up chocolate for lent. This meant no more empty carapaces of chocolate boxes in the fridge.For years I would only find out what he had been nibbling nightly after reaching for a box or wrapper to cook with or serve to guests. Lent has made difference!

Apr. 08 2009 11:13 AM
Grainne (Grawn-ya) from Manhattan, New York

I've always liked lent and the run up to Easter but have been a little remiss in the past few years. So this year with so many people having to sacrifice so much I though I should at lest give up some of my treats...soda, chocolate (that was hard), shopping. I took up exercise.

Apr. 08 2009 11:12 AM
sandi lanson from white plains

The fifth question I would ask is Why are we not all free?

Apr. 08 2009 11:11 AM
Anne from NY

I gave up all sweets and desserts, not only for my faith but also to remind myself that my pious grandfather lived off of day old bread during the Great Depression and that my financial state, while difficult, is still above most others in the world.

Apr. 08 2009 11:11 AM
benny from ny

With so many problems in the world right now that are so large in scale, what lessons can we find in the stories of Passover which address:

1.) Where do we start?
2.) How can we begin to see the impossible as possible?
3.) What types of things do we draw from to provide the confidence and inspiration to overcome obstacles of such magnitude?
4.) Who are our modern day Moses figures pointing us in the right direction?

Apr. 08 2009 11:10 AM
Dave Goldenberg from ridgefield, ct

Fifth question:

Would it have hurt to make the matzoh balls without salt so your Uncle Jerry could eat them?

Apr. 08 2009 11:10 AM
Ann from Mt Vernon

I went on Facebook last August and it quickly became a compulsion. I checked in numerous times every day while at work or at home when I could have been more productive or more present for my 3 kids. I miss it, but hopefully when I go back on Facebook after Easter, the frequency will have abated some. IN years past I have given up coffee, alcohol, TV, shopping at Target. This year was just as difficult to do.

Apr. 08 2009 11:09 AM

I gave up beer. I used to drink it in lieu of soda, I mean I LOVE a good micro-brew. It's been hard.

Apr. 08 2009 11:09 AM
rp from manhattan

On the 4 questions: the idea is not to limit the questions to 4 or even 5. The seder opens with the traditional questions to be asked by the youngest person there specifically to encourage an environment of questions and answers, and indeed the occasion is so rich with meaning, both particular to the Jewish people and universal to all people that it is hard not keep asking and asking.

Apr. 08 2009 11:04 AM
Dan L. from Kearny, NJ

I gave up being nice for 40 days, and then repent for the next 325. Easier the other way around though.

Apr. 08 2009 11:03 AM
John-Paul from Elizabeth NJ

Priests frequently remind me that Lent is not just for fasting but also for feasting and as such will tell me that it's not just giving up but finding a way to celebrate more. So I tried to follow this idea in context with how I've been tardy to church (and work) lately by trying to go to bed and wake up earlier with the intention of using extra time in the day to remember to pray more (as one priest quoted to me from a Jesuit philosopher, "we must pray to pray."). I've failed horribly at this but it was a good goal for behavior modification on my end.

Apr. 08 2009 11:03 AM
Kate from Astoria

I gave up chocolate. Not a big deal, I know. But in the past few years I have not truly observed Lent. I have a child now, and want to set a good example. It's a small gesture, but I see it this way: in giving up a little thing like chocolate (which I love), I am attempting to be free of my own tendency towards self indulgence.

Apr. 08 2009 10:58 AM
Ro from Jersey Shore

My 7 year old gave up chocolate candy (a childhood classic) for her first-ever Lent.
But why I think this is representative of these times is 2 fold -- one hopeful, one sad.

1)My husband & I grew up Catholic but do not belong to any church now. We developed our own personal spirituality and pulled “practices” such as lent that support what we believe. I explained lent to my daughter and she was up for the challenge of self sacrifice.

2)Most of her peers at school are receiving their first holy community in the coming months. NONE of them were aware of (or practicing) lent. But they all have sent out their party invites.

Apr. 08 2009 10:58 AM
Judith from New York

Why, if the first question is "Why is this night different from all other nights?" do we do this two nights in a row?

Apr. 08 2009 10:58 AM
Sam Malachy from New York City

Dear Fellow Catholics and Our Older Brothers in Faith, the Jews --

Please take prayerful pause, before making a public spectacle, for the entertainment of others, what is intended to be mortification intended to unite you with the suffering of Christ. Crucifixion is not "newsworthy", it is for your prayerful contemplation, within your community of faith.

While I charitably assume the producers of NPR mean no harm, their intentions can accidently wound you -- because it must needs be, by the very nature of Public Broadcasting, that Christ is to be excised from your Lenten sacrifice.

Your friend, and NPR sympathizer, Sam

Apr. 08 2009 10:57 AM
Carol Conway from Bond Street

Christian, Lent. I gave up buying new clothes.

Apr. 08 2009 10:57 AM
Julie from Hastings-on-Hudson

For Lent I'm trying to adhere more faithfully to my meditation schedule: 20 minutes, twice daily (not that it's going very well!) Thus the question is actually "What are you doing for Lent?", not just "What are you giving up for Lent?"

Thanks for asking!
P.S. Your show is one of the main reasons I'm a WNYC member.

Apr. 08 2009 10:56 AM
Ricki from West Orange, NJ

5th Question:
On all other years, I make it a habit to be frugal and save as much as possible. This year, since neither my husband nor I have lost our jobs, I wonder if I should spend a little more liberally to help the economy. Should I??

Apr. 08 2009 10:51 AM
Joseph Matusiak from Chicago

The West has consistently painted the lenten period in a negative light "giving something-up" where the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition paints it in a positive, a 'doing something more' or maybe "using time better" light.
So my four year-old and I did the following extra thing during lent: Instead of enjoying my espresso and his chocolate covered pretzel stick alone at our local caffeine establishment we, each morning, invited a local homeless person named Scott to join us. It has been a fantastic experience for my son, who each night states, "I hope we see Scott tomorrow". This is a lenten extra that will continue probably as long as we are all around. And a lenten extra not focused on "ME" but on our community!

Apr. 08 2009 10:51 AM
Marie from Pittsburgh from Pittsburgh, PA

I convinced my husband to give up something for lent (after him not giving up anything since high school 10 years ago). I got him to give up meat. He took it as a challenge from me, and really I picked it because its better for the environment and also for his health for what studies have found with consuming read meat.

Apr. 08 2009 10:49 AM
Jennifer from Harlem

I gave up sarcasm. It didn't go well.

Apr. 08 2009 10:49 AM
Susan Wool from upper west side, manhattan

I welcome Laura Houston's Lenten observance and will try to follow in her footsteps. I gave up Kozy Shack rice pudding and found myself eating everything in sight. Better to give of one's substance than increase one's material size. I also empathize with the listener who just gave up, period. As a Jew I would ask: When will we learn to live in peace together and just see people as human beings?

Apr. 08 2009 10:49 AM
Laura A Job from Westchester

I am a Jew-in-Law. The 5th question...Why tsimmus?

Apr. 08 2009 10:48 AM
Holly from Brooklyn

I just wanted to point out that not all Christians observe lent. Baptists and Evangelicals do not. Episcopalians, Lutherans and Methodists do. Christians are a very diverse group!

Apr. 08 2009 10:47 AM
jade from manhattan

i gave up visual entertainment (tv and movies), secular music and radio except npr and classical music. it's been hard.

Apr. 08 2009 10:45 AM
jose moskowitz from brooklyn

This Year's Fifth Passover Question,
a two-parter:
Who invited Bernie Madoff, and will someone please count the silverware when we're done?!!!

Apr. 08 2009 10:40 AM
Shelley from Queens

In years past we have had pogroms, inquisitions, Aushwitz, Bergen Belsen and Rwanda, why do we still have Darfur and Sudan?

Apr. 08 2009 10:39 AM
laura houston from Home/ lincroft, NJ

I decided that rather than "give up' something inocuous i.e. chocolate, alcohol or soda for Lent, my family and I decided to give up, or "give " more of our time and resources to help others in our community. examples are comforting a friend whose mother is very ill, organizing meals and child care for her. Also, giving our time to the senior citizens where my grandmother lives to ease their loneliness. I genuinely feel that our "sacrice" should actually serve someone in need and not just be a tangible item to do without, which ultimately does'nt inpact someone else's life in any significant way. "Serving" others with the giving of one's time and empathy is far more important I think, than simply foregoing a single thing symbolically for 40 days. I believe that this captures the Christian ideal more fully, and we will continue beyond the Easter season.

Apr. 08 2009 10:36 AM
Christine from Staten Island

I don't say this to mean that we're special but we Unitarians? We're ALWAYS asking questions and it seems we're ALWAYS giving up something: the personal is political so reduce your carbon footprint, economize, live simply and on it goes. Trust me, we are a lively group!

Apr. 08 2009 10:34 AM
Irene Gottesman from Englewood, NJ

My 5th question is: Will anti-semitism on a world scale ever stop? And if yes, when? Why do Jews bare the brunt of so much disdain?

Apr. 08 2009 10:32 AM
Naomi from Brooklyn

Fifth Question: How is it that Congressman Rangle is still in office??

Apr. 08 2009 10:31 AM
Harris B. from Harlem

Well, I gave up using my calculator for lent and only allowed myself to do long math with no aid from electronic tools. Yeah, many of my friends laughed when I shared this with them...but try not using a calculator during tax season...uggh! I didn't realize how much and how often I reach for this device on a daily basis. On the bright side, I have really honed my long math skills: division, subtraction, percentages, etc. My 9th grade mathematics teacher would be so proud of me!

Apr. 08 2009 10:31 AM
Meredith Silverman from Manhattan

At the end of the ceremony we always wonder, "What happened to the egg?"

The Seder ceremony involves a plate of items imbued with ritual significance -- lamb shank bone, bitter herbs, etc... We always get through the Seder with the hard-boiled egg unacknowledged.

Apr. 08 2009 10:30 AM
Kenny Dog from Sunset Park

I just GAVE UP. period.

Apr. 08 2009 10:30 AM
Dan from NJ

I gave up big game hunting.

5th question: O, Lord, what hast Thou done unto my 401k account?

Apr. 08 2009 10:29 AM
Thomas from New York

Giving up marijuana for Lent, in addition to being part of the traditional exercise, ended up saving money on my food costs.

Apr. 08 2009 10:29 AM
P. Cottontail from The Bunny Trail

I plan to shovel snow from my sidewalk!

Apr. 08 2009 10:27 AM
Phoebe from NJ

I gave up belief in a mythical being.

Apr. 08 2009 10:26 AM
Pamela from Nyack, NY

I gave up on-line games - backgammon, solitaire and hearts! I also gave up swearing which is difficult to do when I'm playing golf - good thing my vacation is after Easter Sunday!!

Apr. 08 2009 10:22 AM

5th question - when do we eat?
6th question - when do we go home?

Apr. 08 2009 10:11 AM
Kiri from Queens

I gave up buying stuff for Lent...except for food and toiletries of course, and things for my small business. That's probably bad for the economy, but I did go out to eat a lot, so maybe it balances out.

Apr. 08 2009 10:04 AM
Inbal from East Village

I will be celebrating the Passover seder with a group of artists and musicians from many different countries.

We will be asking when Hamas will release our beloved Gilad Shalit and when will Hamas stop murdering Palestinians in Gaza from Fatah and who are gay & Lesbian & when will Hamas stop sending rockets to kill and stop teaching hatred to their children to kill other children...?

Apr. 08 2009 10:02 AM

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