This week marks the Jewish celebration of Passover.
For those who don’t know anything about the holiday, here is what Chabod says about it:
After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G‑d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G‑d’s command. G‑d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.
At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G‑d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G‑d spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai and their birth as G‑d’s chosen people.
So now that you’ve had a history lesson, you can get the Scamp’s interpretation of Passover. For me, it is a chance to get together with my family and take pictures like this one:
Plague sandwich anyone?
Last year I didn’t celebrate Passover in Scotland. I was trying to deal with heartstompapoolza, and trying to make the most of the time I had left in the city. This year, I am spending the day in class. I spent the first night at a baseball game, and accidentally ate a hot dog. While I am not kosher, I’m sure that eating pork on a Jewish holiday is frowned upon somewhere. I was appropriately greeted with locust. We laughed and had a great time at the game, and with the fact that I am a bad Jew, and that would not have happened if we were at a formal seder.
I’m spending the second night in class. I fact, I am writing this from class when I should be paying attention to leadership styles and human resources.
While I am not spending the holiday at a big family dinner the way we usually do, I have to admit that I am not sad about it. I often feel a little fake at the family dinners because I do not consider myself religious in the traditional sense, and lately, I have not been feeling particularly interested in mixing with more than my immediate family. In fact, I didn’t feel bad about being passed over on the invite list for the family dinner. I have four weeks left in the semester and have enough on my plate.
I got to spend last night with my family, and at the end of the day, whether we did it around a table with a formal seder, or in the bleachers at a baseball game, so I consider the holiday a success.
Chag Sameach everyone.