It’s that time of year again. It actually happens twice – once in the spring and once in the summer. It’s the periods of national mourning when Jewish barbers are on vacation and many Jewish men’s beards look scruffy and somewhat unkempt.

I’ve always been fascinated by Pharaoh’s pajamas. Every little kid loves to sing about “Pharaoh in pajamas in the middle of the night.” On the night of the Exodus, at the stroke of midnight, the final plague – the Death of the Firstborn – began. The obstinate and brazen Pharaoh finally broke. His resolve was gone, as was his dignity. He ran through the streets of Goshen in a frenzied panic, screaming out to the amused Jews to tell him where Moshe and Aharon lived. The former slaves decided to recapture some of their dignity and they began pointing him in all directions. When Pharaoh finally discovered the home of Moshe and Aharon, he cried out that they and their people were free, and they should leave immediately. Moshe replied that they would not leave until the morning.

There’s a classic story about two beggars – one Jewish, the other non-Jewish – who would make their rounds begging together. One night, they were sitting on a bench commiserating about how hungry they always were. The Jewish beggar then told his companion that at least the following week, on the night of the Pesach Seder, they would have a good meal. The non-Jewish beggar countered that he would never be invited to a Seder. The Jewish beggar reassured him that if he put on a kipah and imitated whatever everyone else did, no one would realize he wasn’t Jewish, and he would eat like a king.

It’s just one of those things that everyone knows. Golden Blossom makes honey, Tenuva produces milk and cheese, and Maxwell House publishes the Haggadah.

I always wondered what the connection is between Maxwell House Coffee and the Haggadah. I’m sure I’m not the only one. With a little research (read, G-O-O-G-L-E), I finally found out the answer.

When I was younger, I was told that if a person eats too much of a certain food, he will eventually start to look like that food. Pesach proves the fallacy of that idea: The more matzah I ate over Pesach, the more I felt like a fluffy piece of chametz. If only eating matzah made you look like matzah (without the holes)…

On Purim afternoon, when I entered the home of a friend to give him mishloach manos, there were a few women talking, one of whom was wearing a homemade hat with a propeller on top that had the words “helicopter parent” beneath it. When she saw me looking at it and laughing, she told me that her mother had long accused her of being a helicopter mom, and now she finally decided to just embrace it.