Last night marked the first night of Passover.
Passover is a very important Jewish holiday that celebrates our Exodus from slavery in Egypt and gives thanks to God for protecting us from persecution then and always. In recent years, Passover also reminds us to think about other people (Jews and non-Jews) who are still unable to celebrate freedom and encourages us to combat tyranny where we may find it.
President Obama gives us a shout out...
In brief . . . We were persecuted as slaves, now we're free, praise God, let's eat & drink!
Initially Kieran and I were going to have a quiet seder at home, but I started thinking about it and decided to invite our friends with young child. Passover just doesn't seem as fun without a little one. And I also didn't feel like "finding" the Afikoman that I hid myself.
It was a very successful and fun Seder! Our (nearly) three-year-old guest was very active in the Seder which was so cute I could have vomited. She raised her sippy cup of juice when we blessed the 4 cups of wine, she dipped her parsley in the salt water and ate it (then promptly spit it out and looked at us like we were crazy), she found the Afikoman (I still owe her a quid for that), and she "opened the door for Elijah" then stood out in the hallway looking for him.
Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday because it's a time to share a delicious meal with loved ones and tell the time-honored story of our people. The smell of the sweet red wine and pickled horseraddish reminds me of all the different and memorable Seders I've been to over the years. Having a little one at the Seder table this year got me thinking about future Seders--our own little ones at the table eating Matzah ball soup and reading the story of Passover. Even though Kieran isn't Jewish, he has always supported and happily participated in my traditions. We have decided not to raise future children in one particular religion, but I always envisioned giving these Jewish holiday memories to my children and offering them the opportunity to learn about it if they were interested. It will likely be another 5-10 years before we're at that stage in our lives, but it makes me smile to think about it.
Four cups of wine and a three-course dinner (four courses if you eat Gefilte fish...nom nom nom)--that's the easy part of Passover. Now the challenging part begins. I can't eat anything that resembles bread, pasta, or cake. I can't eat anthing with yeast in it (yes this includes beer!) or any food item that has a "leavening agent" in it. When our Jewish ancestors fled from slavery in Egypt, they left in such a hurry that they did not have time to let their bread rise. We now commemorate this by abstaining from leavened bread and other products for the next week ahead.
In it's place, we have this...
|It's only been a day and I'm already sick of you SOURCE|
It's not all bad, we now have leftovers for the next few days like Thanksgiving's Jewish counterpart.
Wishing all my Jewish friends and family a very happy Passover and thanks to all the non-Jews who have participated in Seders with us (we love you for it!) !
Next year in Jerusalem!