This phrase, “the Jews with the crumbs” is one that I use in a semi-joking way with my family and close friends. It’s sort of my version of the speech that kids get when they go on a school field trip or their camp goes off-site for an activity. You know the speech, it always starts off, “Now kids, we’re going to a place where they don’t usually see a group of Jews like you. Jews who love Hashem and follow his Torah.”
As a general rule, I dislike going to recreational places on a Sunday (or during Chol HaMoed) where there are tons of other observant Jews, because, more often than not, we all bring our own snacks with us. That’s all find and dandy, but often I, sadly, find that many of my brothers and sisters will not pick up their trash and leave a huge mess of litter, heimishe food wrappers and juice boxes…thus giving those of us who accept Torah mi’Sinai a bad name. So, I tell my family that I don’t want us to be known as, “the Jews with the crumbs.”
Call me extreme, fanatical, and over-sensitive. I don’t mind. I think that every time we are at home or in public we have an opportunity m’kadesh Hashem.
That being written, I sat at my desk today during work and ate my shmura matza with jelly, carefull not to let too many crumbs escape the plate. I had flashbacks to my favorite lunches when I was in public school from K-12. Hands down, the best lunches of the year were my kosher for Passover lunches. Corned beef on matza, lox on matza, brisket on matza, margarine and jelly on matza, a hard boiled egg, a fruit, and usually some type of small chocolate or the every popular jelly fruit slices. Not only were those lunches yummy, but they also were a very visable way to seperate myself from everyone else eating lunch. There was no way to hid the fact that I was Jewish.
I am not a fan of leaving messes around. However, for all of the children and famlies that have always gone to school within the day school and yeshiva system, I think Pesach outings allow us to really remember that we are different than everyone else. Eating your matza sandwich in a park, designated eating area at a museum, or a zoo means that you’re out in public and other see that we are different. As the tile of this post indicates, this might be only time in the year when it’s ok to be “the Jews with the crumbs.”
There’s nothing wrong with being different, looking different, or eating different, just try not to make a mess.