Celiacs during Passover - How Can We Celebrate?

I was first officially diagnosed with celiac disease in January. Things were rocky, but then along came Passover. Great, what are the 5 grains one can use to make matza? Wheat, rye, oats, barley spelt. What contains gluten? Wheat, rye, barley spelt. Oh yeah, I have a bad reaction with oats, too.

My initial thought was, God was taunting me. First God took away my ability to make my famous whole wheat challah for Shabbat. Now God is telling me - forget it. Can't celebrate Passover and fulfill the mitzvah of eating matza.

Now some people say, just eat the matza, so what you get a little sick. If I were to eat the ritualistically prescribed amount of matza in any form, including oat, I would be retching and puking and pretty ill for a couple of days. This seriously interferes with "Oneg Yom Tov," the commandment to enjoy the Festival Day. As I read it (and I am no Talmudic scholar), you are not allowed to make yourself that sick to fulfill a mitzvah. You are required to forego the mitzvah. First strike, I lost matza.

Moreover, I spend every day of the year trying as hard as any housewife in Nissan or harder to get rid of chametz in my house, so really, "May Nishtanah ha laila hazeh?" or How is this night any different than every other? Second strike, I lost the specialness of Passover.

You could say, well there is still the kitniyot to banish, let that be your Passover cleaning. Avoid kitniyot and say, "Dayenu." (That would have been enough for us). But at least in the first half dozen years, my diet was too fragile, substitute foods not plentiful enough, and I couldn't go a whole week without rice and beans. Strike three.

In other words, I decided I just can't keep Passover. I can make it for everyone else, but I can't keep it myself.

In other words, I decided I just can't keep Passover.