Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Passover 2011

No, I'm not Jewish.  "But some of my really good friends are Jewish."

I'm sure I've talked about how I'm not particularly religious.  My extended family is Catholic, but my parents never raised us to be extremely hard core about going to church.  I would accompany my grandmothers to church, and my mom's mother had us praying the rosary every night until I was in high school.

My parents never forced me to get my First Communion, though I ended up finally getting that done when I was already in high school.  But I have never been Confirmed.

That being said, I'm not anti-religion unless someone starts to force it down my throat.  But I'm all about being exposed to and learning about my friend's beliefs.

So, on Passover, two dear friends invited folks over to celebrate and take part in the Passover Seder.
The Seder Plate
 Each item represents the journey out of Egypt,
from the bitterness of the horseradish to the lambs blood.
 I recommend attending a Passover dinner to learn all about it!

Random Fact:  Some grocery stores will hand out FREE lamb shanks for Passover!  I happened to be near a grocery store when my friend called and asked me to get a lamb shank.  At first, the deli person looked at me like I was crazy, but then he realized what I was asking for.

I'm sure that it was strange for some random Filipino girl to be asking about a lamb shank, when everyone else who asked must have actually been Jewish.

Now, if you've never been invited to partake in a Passover Seder, it's really quite an experience.  You should definitely not arrive starving!  There are prayers, songs, and the retelling of how the Jews escaped from Egypt.
The dinner table, complete with a huge pamphlet of instructions.
Also, the 2 large candlesticks were passed down from my friend's
 grandmother...from like a hundred years ago!
Oh, and there's wine.  Lots of wine.  Technically, you're supposed to drink 4 glasses of wine by the end of the evening!  Those were HUGE glasses, and I'm sure that the actual glasses are much smaller.  The most of us only really made it to 2 glasses.

My friends took from different guides to make a really condensed version of the usually 2+ hour long reading before any actual meal is had.

Since the Passover Seder is actually for children to hear and learn about the journey out of Egypt, there's an element of fun near the end.  The host is supposed to hide a piece of matzo somewhere in the house for one of the kids to find.  Then the kid gets some money for returning the hidden matzo.

I was determined to find that matzo this year!! I had attended Passover with this friend before, and I didn't find it the first time.  So I made it my goal to find the matzo.
That's right!!!
 I found it!
AND I won the bottle of Riesling you see on the left!
Perhaps I was too excited about finding the matzo.  But it felt good to find it!  I don't get to participate in Easter Egg Hunts anymore, so why not relish the finding of the matzo?

Though it was a bit of a rainy evening, it was great to be able to celebrate and partake in the Passover Seder with my friends.  It's quite educational, spirited, and quite enjoyable.  Perhaps my goal for next year's Passover is to get through that 4 glasses of wine!

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