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The value of tradition
I don't like Matzah. To me it has all of the flavour I'd imagine dried cardboard would have, only crunchy. Despite that, I had two bits of minor excitement this week related to Pesach, even though it is still a couple of weeks away.
Due to the size of Swansea's Jewish community, our options for getting Kosher for Pesach foods (certain requirements on length of grain fermentation, over and above normal requirements) are somewhat limited. Fortunately, we have found a deli in Birmingham that delivers to Swansea.
I thoroughly enjoyed going the order form - how many boxes of Matzah; do we want gefilte fish; what about this etc. Not because the food is any better, but because, for me, it is a tradition. We might be half the world away from home, and, due to the impending arrival, be planning to have the Seder (the first night celebrations) by ourselves, but it is little things like that; little things from a shared past, a shared history and a shared tradition, that do raise a smile and increasing the excitement for the upcoming holiday.
The other that happened was Mum had sent me a Haggadah (the book with the songs and prayers used for the Seder) that we used when I was little. While I won't be able to apportion parts as I traditionally have done (Rev, I am relying on you to do the bit I normally assign to you), it means I will be able to work through in the same way as we have always done. (Although Bec and I also sing the people-traditional Chad Gadyah as well as the family-traditional There Was An Old Lady)
If I had the big things, like the Pesach Seder or Rosh Hashannah, but didn't have the little things like the sense of anticipation, it would be enough.
But it is so much better having the little things, and so many of them are available because of... well, I can tell you in one word... (queue music)
Comment from Revi
The evil son. Mah hu omer? Hu omer 'die die Alex, oh die die Alex, oh die die Alex! die Alex die Alex!'. (Alex =? Einu) Seriously, though, the evil son reads his apportioned part because he is actually the good son and humouring he who apportions the portions.
Well obviously. There are probably only 3 people who have been there since our childhood who would take it with the appropriate good humour. And one of them always gave himself the role of the wise son.
And for everyone else's benefit, there is a song called "daiyeinu" (that would have been enough for us), that is traditionally sung at the Seder.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.