Or, to tell the traditional Passover joke:
A Jewish physicist in the UK was about to get knighted by the Queen. There was a long line of recepients waiting for the ceremony and they were all instructed what to say/chant once they come to face the Queen. The physicist kept silently practicing the obligatory words, but when his time finally arrived he got so nervous he forgot what he was supposed to say. So he started singing the only song he could remember “Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot…”
The Queen looked at him, then looked at her advisor and asked:
“Why is this knight different from all the other knights?”
If you are Jewish, you have heard it a million times. If you are not, you don’t think it’s funny…
Anyway, after several days of cleaning the house (well, it has to be done once a year anyway, so why not make sure that it actually gets done by setting the Passover date as the deadline each year?), we had a Seder at our home. We’ve been hosting for ten or so years now and this was the first time we actully had more Jews in attendance than non-Jews. We usually try to mix it up as much as possible – races, ages, sexual preferences, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, etc. and this year was no exception. Which means it was great fun as always and as heretical as can be.
Usually we use a Haggadah I made by putting together bits and pieces of several modern versions, including secular humanist, feminist and environmentalist haggadah. But this year we used a Liberation Haggadah (similar but not identical to this one) which was pretty godless on top of being Marxist – to the point of being a spoof of itself. After all, does anyone really believe that Jewish slaves in Egypt a couple of millenia ago met for committee meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays to plot the socialist revolution!? Fun was had by all.
Of course, the central focus is the food which was delicious! Mrs.Coturnix fixes the best matzo-ball soup ever, and she can make it vegetarian as well (this and last year she did as we actually had vegetarians at the table). So, instead of the shank bone on the Seder plate, we used a bone-shaped milkbone doggy-treat….Oh, and the salmon was amazing!!!
I am not a regular drinker, but when I do drink, I want the best. So, no sweet Manischewitz in our house! We always have a bottle of the Evolution wine in the fridge, but this year we never got to it as there were so many good reds to drink before it. I resisted the temptation to buy Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon, as Passover is really about Exodus, and I could not find an “Exodus” wine (does it exist?).
And, arrrggggh, how did we forget to put an orange on the Seder plate – it would have been so meaningful this year.