Archive for March, 2010

Seder Dog

March 26, 2010

Bear the Mitzvah Dog was worried. Here he’d been practicing the Four Questions for weeks (he is the youngest in the family if you don’t do any multiplication by seven, if you know what I mean), and now it looked like he may not even be at the seder!

Bear would certainly have better seder table manners than this! (photo by Joshua Lott)

Bear was looking over my husband’s shoulder as he opened an email message from Pet Camp in San Francisco (“Where Pets Do What Pets Love”) about “Passover and Easter at Pet Camp.” Bear tried not to be too be obtrusive as he craned his neck to scan the text appearing on the screen:

“…But anyway, Passover starts Monday night at Pet Camp.  We thought about having a Seder but we knew the dogs wouldn’t follow the order and having four bowls of wine (Mark wanted to serve Slivovitz too) is a bad idea.  So we settled on just hiding the Affikomen.  Hopefully those beagles won’t win again.

And, no, we are not going to try and get the campers to dye eggs again this year.  Last year was a fiasco – we knew we wanted to paint the building; but we didn’t want it to look like a Jackson Pollock when we finished.

This year we’re going to keep it simple and have a special bizzy bone treat to honor both holidays.  From March 29 to April 11 we will be offering our egg & potato special (Mark has been testing the mix out at home with some hash browns and hot sauce).”

“Oh my God!” he thought to himself. “They’re shipping me off to camp and not letting me celebrate Pesach with them! What kind of way is this to treat me after I’ve been the one teaching them mitzvot all along? Forget the bizzy bone – I want some matzah!”

My husband sensed someone was glancing over his shoulder and turned around to see Bear looking very distressed. My husband looked at Bear, then the computer screen, and then back again at Bear and realized what our dog was thinking. So, he reassured Bear that he would not be sent to camp and that his learning the Four Questions had not been for naught.

Bear will most definitely have a seat at – or more likely, under – the seder table come Monday night.

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Matzah Balls And Passover Treats

March 26, 2010

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know that I am rather discriminating when it comes to the quality of the stuff that is being put out there about Pesach (see my post called Separating The Wheat From The Chaff). I, of course, know that some of it is meant to be light and fluffy like matzah balls (at least that’s the way they turn out when I make them with my secret ingredient: selzter):

However, the Jewish educator in me compels me to prefer more substantive creative undertakings, like those of Sarah Lefton’s G-dcast project. What a pesachdik treat it is that G-dcast is branching out beyond parashat hashavua (the weekly Torah portion) to the holidays. Here is its Passover offering that was just released yesterday:

And there’s nothing I like better than a new twist on a old ritual. Jewish women rockers Naomi Less, Chana Rothman and Sarah Aroeste have banded together as “Lights Ignite Change” to not only perform together, but also work together to hopefully shed light on important social issues. These three talented young women, on whom I wrote in my Kol Ishah: Jewish Chicks Rock post, started off last night’s Downtown Seder by lighting the candles with the traditional bracha (blessing) and also an original composition by Less called, “A New Light.” It’s a great song not only musically (ie. it sounds nice and is catchy enough for even the musically-challenged to sing along), but also lyrically and educationally, because Less has packed a bunch of traditional liturgical references to “light” into it.  For those inclined to mix it up and experiment with new practices, I would suggest that this song would be a great addition to your seder. Fortunately, with a few days left until Pesach, there is still time to learn it – just park yourself in front of your computer and keep clicking “replay” on this video…

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

The Ghost Of Pesach Past

March 26, 2010

For over twenty years, I have been haunted by the Ghost of Pesach Past. Click here to read the full story on this, as it appeared (…the article, not the ghost) in today’s issue of the j.

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.