Monday, April 2, 2012

Preparing for Passover

In an amazing coincidence of religious harmony - or not, as the case may be - the first night of Passover this year falls on Good Friday.  Jon and I will be going up to Suffolk to be with his family for the Easter holiday, and I've been granted papal dispensation to introduce them to Judaism with a seder of epic proportions.  Before I share my take on Passover with you all, though, I'm going to tell you a joke that will humorously illustrate the mixing of traditions that might ensue:

A Jewish man was to be honored with a knighthood by the queen.  As part of the ritual, he was supposed to memorize a line of Latin to recite during the ceremony.  He approached the queen, knelt, and opened his mouth... only to realize that he had forgotten the Latin in his excitement.  He quickly thought of a line in another language and said, "ma nish tanah ha'lailah hazeh mikol ha'leilot?"  The queen, puzzled, turned to one of her advisors and said, "Why is this knight different from all other knights?"

Oh, man, that joke cracks me up!  (If you don't get it, don't worry; we're a unique group who will laugh at that.)  Anyway, I want to do a proper seder, using a real Haggadah and including all of the key prayers.  The problem is that this will be everyone's first Passover experience, and I want to keep the evening relatively basic while not dumbing it down.  Most introductory Haggadot are for young children, and I do hope to challenge even the teenage cousins with concepts at their level.  In the end, I used this website to help me make my own Haggadah - and I'm really proud of how it's turned out!  If you're looking to create a Haggadah that's tailored to your family and traditions, I'd definitely check it out.  They've got lots of options for text and pictures; it's an easy way to make your seder entirely bespoke.

I'll share the menu with you later this week and, maybe, if you're lucky and the lighting is right, I'll even stick in a recipe or two.  Well, we can hope!


  1. Good tips! I'm trying to plan a seder myself but having trouble getting the supplies I'm used to back in DC!

  2. ahahahahaha even as a Gentile I can appreciate excellent religious humor!

  3. By the way, where did you get Kosher for passover supplies around London? I can't find one slice of Matzoh in Sussex! (not that I am eager to do so...)

  4. Betsy,
    In 2012, the BIBLICAL Pesach (The Passover) begins at sundown (dusk) on Thursday, April 5, (14 Nisan), but today's Hebrews celebrate The Passover a day late (15 Nisan).

    See: Leviticus 23:5-6
    5 - In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover.
    6 - Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD;
    for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

    The one [1] single day of The Passover (Pesach) is on 14 Nisan. (Exodus 12:6)

    Please visit:

    And see, also:

    Henry, Miami FL


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