Locusts, Lesbians and Excavators: The Story of Passover

Ahhhh Passover. The holiday that is ‘to’ Miralax what snowstorms are ‘to’ milk and bread. Every year the family gathers to tell the story of Passover, which for the uninitiated  is the less ‘Charlton Heston’-y version of The Ten Commandments.

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We started the evening with a revelation from my mother. The orange sitting in the center of the table, which had been presented to the family several years ago as a symbol of gender equality in Judaism, was really a symbol representing equal rights for Jewish lesbians. Oh, and it wasn’t supposed to be an orange, it was supposed to be a crust of bread. Minor discrepancies; mistakes anyone could have made…(full story here: http://www.juf.org/news/world.aspx?id=414773)

From there, we moved on to the telling of the Passover story, as is tradition, which has been known to take anywhere from one hour to forever, depending on

  • Who’s sitting at the head of the table,
  • How many young children are present,
  • Whether the story is told in Hebrew, English, or both,
  • If Jupiter is in retrograde,
  • Whether it’s a leap year,
  • And how many digits of pi you need to count before you get to an 8.

We eventually arrived at the part of the story where you collectively recite the 10 plagues. For those who weren’t in ancient Egypt at the time, here’s how we think originally it went down:

Moses: Let my people go!
Pharaoh: No!
God: No? Let it rain frogs!

Moses: Let my people go!
Pharaoh: Forget it!
God: Still no? I will smite your cattle!

Moses: Let my people go!
Pharaoh: Not happening!
God: Oh, really, now? How about a bazillion locusts?

Or something like that. But in our family, we like to have fun with our plagues. I got to be locusts this year! (See picture below) Every year, I worry if a fight will break out over who gets to have ‘boils’.

We did eventually get to the eating part, or for me, the ‘running back and forth to the kitchen to get things for the toddler part’. Followed by the ‘trying to get him to sit still long enough to fork some chicken into his mouth’ part. Which just reminds me of how screwed I am when he figures out the buckle on his booster seat at home…

After we ate, we sent the children on a scavenger hunt, also known as the search for the Afikomen, in which the kids search for a hidden piece of Matzah as the adults sing louder or softer as the child gets closer or farther away from their goal. Unfortunately, most of us didn’t know where it was hidden and could only watch perplexed as the two who did know sang joyfully, and in opposing volumes, while the children trailed back and forth across the same 4 feet of space about 14 times. At least the 6-year-old walked back and forth in the right general area. The toddler wandered around the room with a look on his face that seemed to say “I’m not sure what the hell I’m looking for, or where I’m supposed to be looking for it, but I’ll look around blankly and walk in circles like my cousin…”

Eventually, the singers took pity on the bewildered children and subtly pointed them in the right direction. If you think of ‘subtly’ as broad hand gestures, exaggerated pointing and smoke signals.

reThey each got a prize for their efforts; the older one got an MLB Pop a Pitch, and the little guy got something he’d been begging his grandparents to buy him for a month: a red ‘eccavator’. Not just any ‘eccavator’, a red one. Which he later took to bed with home, ate breakfast with, took to school, and is currently napping with.

And as we look forward to Sunday, which will bring Easter with my husband’s family, I can only hope the Easter Bunny will bring fruit in his basket, lots of fruit. After a week of Matzah plugging you up worse that a dog who’s eaten your underwear (not that that has happened to anyone I know…), you just can’t have too much fruit.

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Posted on March 26, 2013, in Family, Humor, Musings, Parenting, Toddlers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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