I'll be popping in only briefly

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Registered: 03-19-2003
I'll be popping in only briefly
3
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 11:49am
for the next week or so. I'm getting ready for Passover, which begins Wed. night. I'm having a houseful of company and hosting to seders - Wed. and Thurs.

I pop in the board and read quickly, but may not have time to post much. I didn't make it here at all over the weekend!

Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather - finally! Happy spring holiday, whatever you celebrate!

Back to cleaning and reorganizing...

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

Avatar for ga_hs_mom
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 10:02am
janet, i hope your family has a wonderful holiday season ! if you have time, and dont mind, would share a little about how your family celebrates passover ? i have been discussing passover w/my kids this week, but all of our information comes from books. we'd be interested to know how a 'real' family celebrates ! ~ irena
Avatar for cl_janetlh
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 9:33pm
I'd love to! I'll post a bit now, but please feel free to ask questions about what you've read!

Passover is the Jewish celebration of the Exodus from Egypt. You know - Moses, the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, mannah in the dessert.

Like with most customs, Jews are observant along a spectrum. In other words, I can tell you what my family observes. Some families will do "more". Some will do "less". Jews do not eat leavened food during the holiday. This means no bread or pasta, but also means that anything baked or made with flour has to be specially prepared. There is also a tradition among Jews of German/Easter European origin to not eat beans, corn or rice. I really can't explain why, but it's tradition at this point. Middle Eastern and Jews of Spanish origins do not have the same custom. Let's just say that my family will be sick of matzah and potatoes, both in many forms, by the end of the eight days!

Many Jews, including my family, change dishes for Passover. *Everything* we use in the kitchen is different for Passover! Dishes, pots, pans, silverware, etc. Some things can be boiled and used, but some cannot, for example dishes. Major cleaning takes place for the holiday. This is the origin of "spring cleaning!" The house is thoroughly cleaned, and the kitchen is scrubbed, including wiping out all of the cabinets.

The first 2 nights of Passover, we hold "seders". A seder is a dinner with religious ceremonies before and after the meal. We tell the story of Passover, explain all the symbols on the seder plate (including an egg ;-), sing songs that praise G-d (Hallelujah is a Hebrew word meaing praise G-d, many are from Psalms), grace after meals. The seder concludes with some fun children's songs. We use a book called a "Haggadah", which is traditionally in Hebrew, but there are many wonderful choices these days.

There is also a piece of matzah which is hidden, called the Afikomen. The children have to find it after dinner, or the seder cannot continue! Prizes are given to the children. Alternatively, the children can hide the matzah from the adults, and "randsom" it before the seder can continue. We also have a cup of wine on the table for Elijah the prophet, who is said to visit every house on Passover night. We even open the door for him at one point! We believe that Elijah will herald the coming of the Messiah.

Our seders were great this year! We had guests the first night, a family from our synagogue, originally from South Africa. They have no family nearby, and requested a host family. We had offered to host a family, and were matched up. We'd never met before, although we all recognized each other when they came in. Their children are 10, 8, and 4. It is a custom to invite guests, including strangers, to a Passover seder. "All who are hungry, let them come share with us." The second night, my 20-month-old nephew got the hang of one of the more boisterous, easy songs, and was clapping along. It was wonderful! We start our seders around 6:30, and are done between 9:30 and 10. Some families just say a few of the traditional prayers and have dinner; some have seders longer than ours. My family does a very complete seder, but when I lead (which I did this year) I do skip a few things to keep it moving for the children, and we do more in English than, for example, my brother would choose to. This year, Sam and Rachel asked the traditional "4 questions", asked by the youngest at the table, in Hebrew for the first time without help. Yay!

For those who don't know, Jesus' Last Supper was a Passover seder.

Traditional foods include matzah (unleavened bread like a water cracker), matzah ball soup (chicken soup with dumplings made from matzah meal and eggs), and more.

If you've read this far - mazel tov, LOL!

That's a bird's eye view. Feel free to ask questions, or contact me at cl-janetlh@yahoo.com if you want to discuss off-line.

Hope you had a happy, healthy Easter!

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

Avatar for ga_hs_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 9:59am
thanks janet, it was really interesting to read about your family's celebration. i read the entire post to my 10yr dd, who was very interested in the simularities of customs. of course, i explained that ours are borrowed from yours, which are much older ! i'm glad that you and your family had such a wonderful time together. thanks for sharing ~ irena