We have been preparing for this holiday for more than a month! Finishing all our leaven. Cleaning our whole houses. Scrubbing our pots and ovens. Burning our last leaven. Cooking food for the holiday. Decorating the house and ourselves. 😉 Calling friends and relatives to wish them a joyous and kosher Pesach. And the long awaited holiday is finally here!! Baruch ata she hechianu… Thanking God for having brought us to this time!
We had a lovely Seder Night with family and friends Monday night. In the diaspora you guys get to have this joy two nights in a row, but here in Israel we do it only once a year. So we have to make the very most out of that night, – and believe me, we do! I wish you could have heard our beautiful princess sing the four questions of what makes this night different than all the other nights, which is traditionally sung by the youngest member of the family. She totally loves this part, it is what makes it fun to be the youngest, in her opinion! 🙂
Seder literally means Order, – so this holiday meal is full of order! I read somewhere the thought that it is kind of strange that the holiday of freedom is celebrated by a meal with lots of rules and limitations… But then again, this adds so much! It is what makes it special! It is what makes it what it is! The article I read compared it to unstructured play with a ball and playing a real ball-game with rules and regulations. The latter option is so much more interesting!! So also with the Seder Meal!
This Jewish holiday can be summed up the same way almost all the Jewish holidays can: “They tried to kill us. The didn’t succeed. Let’s EAT!!” And yes, we celebrate by eating, – lots of symbolic foods, four cups of wine and a very yummy holiday meal. We eat bitter herbs to remember slavery in Egypt, unleavened bread to remember the haste in which we had to leave, we have a lamb bone to remind us of the blood that was put on the doorposts which saved the firstborns from the angel of death, we dip vegetables in salt water to remind us of our tears, we eat a sweet mixture of fruits and nuts to reminds us of mortar we used to put the bricks together in building, etc. etc. Notice the fact that we look upon it as thought WE were the ones who left Egypt. This is the way it is supposed to be. – Every generation should think of himself as having been set free from slavery in Egypt. This is why we are teaching our next generation all this and much more, to help them feel that they are a very real part of this.
And now we have a whole week of festivities of various kinds. Tuesday we were invited over to good friends for food and fellowship after the synagogue service in the morning. Today we are going to have a barbecue in a large park here in Jerusalem along with a group of friends, and the rest of the city, basically. And this is the way the days go by, good times, making more memories with family and friends. We have so much to be thankful for!