Beitzah,(Roasted Hard-boiled eggs) is part of the Passover Seder
Some Christians say boiled eggs at Easter are pagan. Jews who celebrate the Exodus embrace this delicious food.
The mystery of the egg
According to The Easter Book, by Frances S Weiser, the egg has held mystery since the dawn of time. It is believed that early on people were fascinated that life could come from this oval shaped object. In pre Christian days the egg symbolized new birth because birds and chickens hatched their young during the spring months. Some Christ followers said the egg was the shape of the empty tomb and represented the Resurrection but over time the meaning has evolved. During the past decade, a growing number of Christians have been re-writing the rules of Easter. They now refer to the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox as Resurrection Sunday because they believe 'Easter' is related to idol worship.
The spring holiday activities that have been enjoyed for centuries are being kicked to the curb. One of those traditions is boiling, dyeing, and eating eggs. Easter egg hunts have thrilled children for many years, but now some church goers say this activity has pagan roots and is associated with fertility rites. Even as some of those who say they follow Christ are expressing issues with hard boiled eggs, many of the Jewish faith continue enjoying this food as part of the spring Passover meal. Along with other items on the Sedar menu is Beitzah which is a roasted, and or hard boiled egg.
Easter Egg catches heat
Christianity is rooted in Judaism and a number of believers in Christ embrace the laws that the Bible says were given to the children of Israel, such as rest on the Sabbath. Easter eggs are said to be rooted in pagan fertility rituals and therefore should be shunned. Ancient Celtics and Druid’s placed people in wicker baskets and burned them as sacrifices, but I’m willing to bet there had never been a recall on anyone’s wicker furniture. At the end of the day a boiled and or fried egg is nothing more than a food that we eat. Those of us living today are not responsible for the choices of people of previous generations, be they good or bad.
The Jewish tradition
Those of the Jewish faith who eat Beitzah say the egg represents mourning, sacrifice and new life. Every item in the Seder has a significance for those celebrating the night the death angel passed over their ancestors. Easter egg hunts with boiled eggs have no religious significance and are simply a fun spring time activity that is done at Easter. When I was in elementary school, we had Good Friday and Easter Monday off. My church always had an egg hunt on the Monday after the holiday. Neighbors often did the same and sometimes weeks later we would step on the eggs that we had not found. Boy did they stink.
I have never heard of roasting a hard boiled egg until now and it sounds like something I might try. Dying hard boiled eggs is a tradition that both my husband and I grew up with. Even after our children were too old for Easter baskets we continued this fun activity. Boiling, decorating and placing the eggs in baskets is so much fun and now I get to do it with my grandchildren. Perhaps this year we may roast a few of the boiled eggs and discuss the Passover story. For about 20 years, ABC would show The 10 Commsndments with Charleston Heston each year on a Dunday night during the Paddover season. Many families I knew looked forward to this annual event and watched together.
Brisket, chicken soup, and chopped liver are foods that can be part of the Passover Sedar. Traditional meals among Ashkenazi Jews often include gefilte fish (poached fish dumplings), roast chicken, matzo ball soup, potato kugel which is similar to a casserole and zimmes, which is a stew of prunes and carrots that sometimes includes potatoes or sweet potatoes. There are also many vegetarian Passover meals that can be prepared. Pickled Devil eggs are included on the veggie menu. Whether or not you celebrate Easter or Passover, hard boiled eggs are always a delicious addition to meals in every season.