The world is full of mysteries when you’re little, and one that always puzzled me was what the hell Maxwell House Coffee had to do with Passover. There was no obvious connection, and yet every year, we, and just about every other Jew in America, would sit around the seder table and read from The Maxwell House Haggadah, which told the story of Passover in the portentous, archaic language I associated with the movie The Ten Commandments. (It also told other anecdotes, like the one about the rabbis who got so into discussing the Passover story, they ended up pulling an all-nighter; I never understood that one, either.) I don’t think anybody actually liked The Maxwell House Haggadah, but it was free, and that was key, because we needed at least 10 copies for everyone to have their own during the seder.
But now Abigail Weil in Alma has uncovered the mysterious connection between Passover and cheap coffee—which happens to be a Jewish ad executive, aided and abetted by a rabbi. Of course! What a great Mad Men episode that would have made!
As a bonus, Weil also offers an explanation with the word “goyish” and her Aunt Sandy’s brisket recipe. Just two more (socially isolated) shopping days till Passover!