Feel GOOD FRIDAY

Friday is my second favourite F word!

FABULOUS is my first favourite F word.  What were you thinking?

goodfriday4

feeling-good

Enjoy your long weekend and if you celebrate Easter try to lay off eating too many chocolate eggs!

I’ve invited a few friends and family over for dinner on Sunday and each place setting will have an easter egg filled with starburst jelly beans – just because. The dogs will hunt for toys and treats (Jack already knew how to play hide ‘n seek so now Jia Jia plays too). They’re told to sit and wait while I hide something and then they run excitedly trying to find it. Sometimes I make it more challenging for them. AND I’m trying out a brand new dessert which I’ll tell you about later providing it turns out.  Something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time but never got around to.

Isn’t every Friday a good friday?

Feel-Good Friday: literally

A long weekend ahead celebrating both EASTER and PASSOVER.1526307_655493851140374_603960354_n

I’ve got all my bases covered.  At Passover there’s sure to be at least four glasses of wine and lots of chocolate at Easter.  On Saturday morning there’s a scavenger hunt/run, a Passover Seder in the evening and Easter dinner on Sunday.

Yasha Harari
Cartoon by Yasha Harari

So what’s a girl to do

when she’s half christian & half jew

but celebrate both holidays

each in their individual ways

a little matzoh,  a bit of ham

and try not to give a damn

However you choose to celebrate enjoy your lovely gathering with family and friends.

 

 

 

Culture/Celebration – Passover Seder 101

Passover is a celebration of spring, of birth and rebirth, of a journey from slavery to freedom, and of taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world. 20140405_133059

For those of you who are curious, this is a thumbnail review about the significant holiday known as Passover. If you want a more indepth look at the importance of this spiritual, most celebrated Jewish holiday, there’s a link below.

You can think of Passover as celebrating the Jewish people’s “birth certificate” and “Declaration of Independence.” Or you can think of it as memorializing something that God did for the Jews 3,300 years ago.

 In simple terms, it means to pass through, to pass over, to exempt or to spare.  It refers to the fact that God “passed over” the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. Pesach, (PAY-sahch) known in English as Passover, is one of the most commonly observed Jewish holidays, even by otherwise non-observant Jews. According to the National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), 67% of Jews routinely hold or attend a Pesach seder, while only 46% belong to a synagogue.  Basically….

Table set for Seder
Table set for Seder

The Passover Seder  “order,  arrangement” is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar throughout the world, and on the 15th by Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar. Passover lasts for 7 days in Israel and 8 days outside of Israel.

The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving re-telling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Every year, Jews are commanded to retell the Passover story which takes place during the Passover Seder (which is a service held at home as part of the celebration). This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: “You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'” (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the *Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10). The *Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the **Talmud, and special Passover songs.

Seder customs include telling the story, discussing the story, drinking four cups of wine (Yes!), eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.

*Haggadah means “the telling” – the telling of the story of Passover. The story is told in response to four questions asked by the children: why is this night different from all other nights? The father proceeds to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, reading from a book called “The Haggadah” and using symbols and object lessons in order to keep the attention of the little ones (and in many cases, not so-little ones too).

Haggadah
Haggadah

**The Talmud is a huge collection of doctrines and laws compiled and written before the 8th Century, A.D., by ancient Jewish teachers. The Talmud, which often cites the Old Testament, is the basic book of Jewish law.

Why do we eat Matzah? To remind ourselves that even before the dough of our ancestors could become leavened bread, the Holy One revealed Himself and redeemed them, as it is written: “and they baked the dough when they had brought from Egypt into matzah, because it did not rise since they were driven out of Egypt and they could not delay, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.”

What is Hametz? Hametz is a mixture of flour and water that is allowed to rise, thus becoming what we normally call ‘bread.’ The laws of hametz are very strict, and prohibit not only eating it but even owning it during Passover. Thus, during the weeks before Pesah, we dispose of our hametz. In theory: Philo, a Greek-Jewish philosopher, described hametz as pride because leavened bread is puffed up. To remove hametz, then is to struggle with our sense of self-importance.

Shalom

For More info:  https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holidaya.html

Tomorrow: A few basic Seder recipes (but they’re good anytime)