Transliterated Hebrew for everyone! That means that spring (Aviv) has been brought to us and Passover (Pesach) is coming. It's here, as of tonight, but right now we're in that neither-here-nor-there zone right before the holiday officially starts. All the cleaning has been done and the forbidden leavened bread and related products (as in, anything that doesn't bear the kosher-for-Passover seal, save for produce and eggs) are gone.
Passover observance really ends up being 9 days, counting this day, and the time at which the forbidden food is forbidden before the holiday starts could signify the journey. Once we get to the seder itself (and pluppel on for an hour or two) we eat the matzah that was baked on our backs as we left the land of Egypt without allowing the dough to rise.
Why is it that on this holiday, we talk about it saying that we were the ones that left Egypt? Other holidays have a story that we tell and rituals for recreation and celebration, but this one takes the extra step and there is a certain suspension of disbelief, where we are both modern technologically advanced people and also the people who escaped from slavery without anything better to do with their unrisen dough than to flatten it on their backs.
Have you ever tasted real Shmurah matzah? As in, the round hand-crafted stuff, not the large squares? It's strong stuff. The authentic Passover experience. One of our family jokes is that if we were the ones who left Egypt, this was the matzah that was on our backs those thousands of years.
In 2007, I was expecting child #1. He is now fully prepared to recite the Four Questions. In 2009, The Boy was in the middle of cancer treatment, I was expecting child #2, and, unbeknownst to me, I was about to be thrown into a months-long period of time where we were more in the hospital than out. In 2010, again unbeknownst to me, we attended the Passover Seder thinking that we needed to return quickly for chemotherapy for The Boy. Upon our return and hospital admission, we were freed from chemotherapy. It was bittersweet, as we still feared for The Boy's kidney function, but we were told to go be normal. Whatever that was.
In reading my Passover entries from previous years, they look an awful lot like this one. Or rather, they run like a performance of "The House that Jack Built."
So we've got 1, probably 2, boys ready to sing The Four Questions and say blessings, and a third who seems to like the sound of The Four Questions. And in case you're wondering, no, I don't plan on reenacting the "Four Sons" part of the Seder. I've got three. That's all.
To what will we come home after this Passover? Hope it's something good!