Our Family 2009

Our Family 2009

Our Passover Table

Our Passover Table

It’s been more than  week since I have posted any mitzvahs. I have been entrenched in Passover preparation which culminated in a wonderful Seder held on Wednesday night at our home with 15 people at our outstretched table. For days prior to the Seder,  I was cleaning and preparing my home as well as cooking and deciding which Haggadah we would use.

Passover is the celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery to freedom in Egypt. We gather every year for a celebratory meal and retell the story. My goal this year was to host our first “large” Seder and to make it fun and engaging for the kids. I believe it was a success. I wanted to include some of the wonderful experiences we have had over the years at others Seders. For example, using green onions to pretend we are “whipping” the slaves, lots of fun additional English Passover songs  sung to any number of well known tunes. Think Take Us Out of Egypt, sung to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game and Moses sung to the tune of the Flintstones. One of my favorite parts was the story of the exodus narrated by my 11 year old daughter and acted out by our friend’s daughter also age 11 and my son age 8. While it might have been a briefer rendition of the story it  certainly engaged the children as I had hoped. Finally, our favorite part, the 10 plagues with real “props” like plastic frogs, locusts and cattle and marsh mellows for the hail. Everyone seemed to enjoy this crazy part of the retelling. I jokingly tell my non-Jewish friends that April and preparing for Passover seems comparable to what I think non Jews must go through preparing their homes and tables for Christmas.

971-976) Included in the Seder are actually 5 mitzvahs. Here are 5 mitzvahs we all did on Wednesday night. Two mitzvahs from the Torah: 1) to eat matzah on the night of Passover 2) to tell the story of being freed from Egypt. Three mitzvahs instituted later by the sages – 1) to drink four cups of wine or grape juice 2) to eat maror (bitter herbs) 3) to recite the hallel prayers (praises).

A mitzvah received too. Finally, one of our guests wanted to bring her Chicken Soup to our Seder. Since I keep kosher and that wouldn’t be possible,  I invited her over to cook with me. On Monday, we cooked Chicken Soup, Stuffed Cabbage and she taught me how to make a Persian version of Haroset (a traditional Passover food). It  had dates and oranges and was delicious. Her help was a mitzvah and we had a ton of fun cooking together.

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