- Next week Jews all over the world will celebrate Passover holiday. It was the only Jewish holiday celebrated by my paternal grandparents. They didn’t celebrate it in a traditional manner, but we would always spend a day or two with them eating a special meal that involved matzah and discussion about all the famous Soviet Jews that had very non-Jewish last names. I have to add that my grandparents were committed Communists and atheists, but they celebrated the holiday as the acknowledgement of their roots and their freedom. So in honor of the holiday we read several books about Passover and discussed what it’s about. Most of those books (except Sammy’s Spider First Passover that we both quite liked) whooshed right over Anna’s head. I couldn’t find anything that would actually make events of Exodus easier for her to understand. We did watch VeggieTales Moe and the Big Exit that was recommended to me by Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom. It was our first time ever with VeggieTales (we rented it from the library), and I admit that I was quite bewildered by the story. I do have to give it credit for following the Bible account very closely, but I failed to see how a cucumber would be a brother to green peas, and I am sure I missed a lot of American cultural references in this retelling. So I decided to try Prince of Egypt that we happen to have at home. Now it was Anna’s turn to be completely bewildered. After 30 minutes of non-stop questions she announced that she was done, and we didn’t even get to the whole burning bush business. I did get a lot of questions about the plagues, especially about the last one. One of the evenings we had the following exchange before going to bed:
- Mama, am I a first born?
- Me: Yes, you are.
- Anna: Good thing we are not in Egypt!
We had more success in learning about modern Passover celebrations. Anna thought that search for afikomen was pretty neat – we made a game out of it where I would hide a piece of paper pretending that it’s a special matzah piece, and she was looking for it. Still – I felt that learning about the religious holiday without being intimately connected to it through rituals and traditions did not work out well – I really have to think next year whether I want to do more or less about Passover celebrations in the house. At this point I am undecided.
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