Monday, April 18, 2011

We Do This Because

Today was the beginning of Passover. My brother-in-law is Jewish, and we have shared a Pesach Seder dinner with my sister's family for the past few years. I like it; the customs, although unfamiliar, are comforting in their ritual, and I appreciate feeling connected to two thousand years of history, even if it isn't my own. Tonight was no exception-- my sister made a wonderful meal; my niece and nephew shone with the excitement of the festivities, and their dad led us through the traditions of the holiday.

We were raised Catholic, and although I have some serious issues with the church and its social policies, I always loved the rituals and traditions of mass and the sacraments. I know that they can be mystifying to the uninitiated, though. Years ago, a friend of mine, who happened to be Jewish, and I were invited to the wedding of another teacher on our team. The ceremony included a Catholic mass, and when the priest asked that the gifts be brought to the altar my friend looked at me in panic. "I left mine in the car!" he whispered.

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