Back to the Roots
Change is good and change is constant (it can also be stressful). Everything around us is constantly transforming into the next and better thing but that doesn't mean that what was, is not just as good. Sometimes when you go back to the "old" you realize what a good idea you had! - Just the other day I was sifting through designs from years ago for Seder Plates (since Pesach is right around the corner) and I came across a plate that had to be resurrected. Maybe it's a timeless piece, maybe I'm being biased or maybe its been gone for so long that it seems as good as new. . . you'll have to let me know (past design on the left, resurrected design on the right). Going back, however, did remind me how important it is to appreciate where you come from.
Passover Family Traditions
Going back to your roots can mean a lot of things, and for many, they are celebrated through traditions. Since Passover is nearing I want to share with you some traditions of mine both new and old. I think one of my favorite parts of every holiday is when we are extending the dining room table and then gathering every spare chair in the
house. Passover especially is when the whole family comes together and gets rowdy; maybe it's from the 4 glasses of wine . . . The holiday is guided by a book called the Haggadah, it takes you through several different steps to honor the Israelites who escaped from Egypt and traveled across the desert to finally settle peacefully in Israel. According to my daughter,
" The best custom is when you lean to the left while drinking the cup of wine ";
The purpose of this is to resemble the leisure of a new lifestyle from slaves to free men and women. I think she likes it so much because it feels a little silly to do.
Passover Food Traditions
Being the foodie I am, the meal is definitely my favorite part; especially after I've been cooking all. day. long! I always make a big dish of oven-cooked chicken legs which is important to satisfy the Passover plate's shank bone. . . and our stomachs. I cook with lots of spices which is usual of Mediterranean food, why wouldn't you want to add spice in your life? Something I'm still not used to in the states. Anyways, by the end of the meal and a couple of drinks, we get to the singing. Besides the delicious food, it's what everyone is looking forward to. You are encouraged to sing as loudly as you want, bang on the table, and laugh at everyone's performance. In translation to English from Hebrew the lyrics can sound very strange, like chanting about "one little goat" which only serves as an extra chuckle
We love opening our doors to friends and family to learn and enjoy the holidays but as for many, Covid-19 has definitely put a damper on things. While it's not the same as seeing everyone face to face, video chat has provided a workable alternative. It may even serve as another tradition. For all the loved ones who can't physically attend, they can still be there virtually! Even after social distancing is no longer required, there might still be situations where we can't meet in person and for that option, I'm grateful.