Monday, March 15, 2010

The First of Nisan

Tonight when the sun set a new Hebrew day began,
and because it is Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, a new month began as well.

It is the first day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the month in which we celebrate Zeman Cheruteynu--the Season of Our Freedom. (The "ch" sounds the German "ch" in Bach).

This means that Passover begins two weeks from tonight and all the time I had thought I had for spring cleaning is dwindling down to nothing. It is time for the big push.

And like last year, I am experiencing some Pesach Denial. This year, we will be having a small and intimate Seder so it will be different than Seders of the past. This is probably a good thing--we have had many transitions in the past year in our lives--some personal, some familial, and some in our larger lives. We will have a few guests, but our family and the Professional Revolutionary will be the only Jews.

I still have my office to clean, and then the living room, pantry and the big job--turning the kitchen over for Pesach. And the Rasta-Jew must be nagged into cleaning his room and bathroom, and the Professional Revolutionary must clean up his room. And the Chametz (leavened stuff) and fermented stuff must be removed. This will be hard on the Professional Revolutionary especially, so I have decided to break him into it gently, by having him watch Manishchewitzville:

"I don't know the reason the Passover Season comes as a surprise every year.
One day it's Purim, the groggers are whirling, and it seems a week later Passover's here."

This song always puts a smile on my face.
It gets me in the mood for Pesach.

Although not overly schmaltzy, it brings up good memories--the Chem Geek Princess at two, falling asleep at the Seder table, her cheek pillowed in the "smashed" potatoes; the CGP at four, standing on a chair at the Hillel second night Seder in pink sailor-trimmed dress, singing the four questions in perfect Hebrew. The Rasta-Jew (aka the Boychick) at 15 months, putting his hand on my lap and beginning to sing "David Melech Yisrael" (David, King of Israel), because he wanted to join in on the four questions but didn't know the Hebrew; the same kid at 15 years singing the Reggae version of the four questions. In English and Hebrew.

And the last verse ends with: "But somehow the Seder always seems to turn out fine."
Hey, even after 24 years of throwing my own Seders, that's reassuring.

And this year, we added When Do We Eat? (the movie). Our Seder could never be this dysfunctional. Could it?

Passover: It's what Jews do.

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