Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Social History - Passover

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Sammy Spider First Passover

  • 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. Moe and Big ExitSo 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 Prince of Egypt 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.

To see more posts on geography and history, visit Geography/History Exchange at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

10 comments:

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Lol on the Little Joe observation! My children asked the same thing about the peas - but clearly Veggie Tales has to be watched with suspended belief, I mean how does he throw a dodge ball with no hands!?!

MaryAnne said...

I love Anna's firstborn comment! I've never heard of that Sammy Spider book, it sounds interesting.

Julie said...

I'm so glad you wrote this as I was thinking of introducing the holiday to the kids next week, and wasn't sure how to go about it. Of course, now I have some ideas of what didn't work! Maybe I'll look for the Sammy Spider book.

TOSHeidi said...

I'm playing along with 6 Degrees of Blogging, and your blog is my 6th degree. I've shared a link to your blog from my post. I've also signed up to follow your blog. I hope you'll stop by mine and say "hi" too.

Joyful Learner said...

We're big Veggie Tales fans here! JC loves singing the songs and telling us about all the funny characters! I love all the puns and humor!

Ticia said...

I guess we've watched so much Veggietales, that doesn't even bother me. I can see how there might be some cultural references you might not get..... Hmmmmm..... interesting.
I was thinking Anna might not like Prince of Egypt, that's why I didn't recommend it, even though I love it. I figure if my guys find parts of it scary, there's no way Anna is going to watch it. Interesting that she didn't even really get to the scary parts, though I guess the chariot ride might be.
What great observation she made about not being in Egypt!

Debbie said...

I love Anna's concern about being the first born! I never ever figured out Veggie Tales. Selena has watched a few times when at a friend's house, she was never that interested in it though. I often wonder if her little mind is wondering why these vegetables are talking or something.

Jenny said...

My nephew loves the Veggie Tales, but Abby hasn't been interested in watching them. My sister says the stories are really cute though.

Thanks for the heads up about the Prince of Egypt. I don't think Abby would like that either.

Pathfinder Mom said...

What a funny comment from Anna. As an entire family of first-borns, good thing we're not in Egypt either!

Susana said...

Anna always has the best comments!

We are doing both secular and Christian (well LDS) based Easter studies this entire week even though we are officially on break from school until May:-). You know I can't take a real break!!

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