Friday, April 10, 2009

Only in the USA...Muslims, and Christians, and Jews oh my!!!!

Tonight as I sit at my computer trying to decide what to write for tomorrow's post, I have a few minutes to reflect on my day. I had gone to sleep the night before at 5:30 am after prepping dinner for our Passover Seder that was held this evening. I had gotten up at 8:00 am to finish up a few last minute things. I had to make some appetizers, so I started the Tziziki Dip, bright and early in the day. I had marinated my Turkey Breast and Filet Mignon the night before, got my potato kugel, matzoh farfel stuffing, and apple matzoh kugel ready. I chopped my onions and crushed my garlic for the mushrooms, got the broccoli and cauliflower casserole ready. I made Passover Rocky Road Brownies, Michelle's Heavenly Lemon Mousse, and a few other things.

I thought about my Passover table...

Here I was, a Brooklyn girl of Italian descent, preparing a Passover Seder, where the guests would be of Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, and Muslim faiths. What a beautiful country we live in, where we could all come together to share in each other's heritage!

Ours was not your typical Seder because we did have some meat and dairy served at the same meal to accommodate all of the guests. There were some Greek appetizers, some Lebanese appetizers in the form of Hummus and Baba Gounnash, there was an Italian Salad of Tomatoes and Mozzarella, a good old American Filet Mignon and Turkey, and Matzoh Ball Soup, Gefilte Fish, and several different types of kugel, a virtual International Smorgasbord.

Where else all could all this occur, in the most relaxed and harmonious environment? Where else would you see all four religions reading from the Haggadah together, in one voice. If we can do this in one household, why can't we do this in our world?

As I set the table, with mini Seder plates for each person,

(Rather than have to pass everything as the Seder begins
I started to make up these mini plates put at each persons
place. It includes an egg, matzoh, salt water, choreses, horseradish, wine, and parsley)

I reflected on how lucky I am to have the family and friends that I do. To sit and watch them all take part in this beautiful tradition was both moving and meaningful, making all the hours of work worth it. I only wish that all of you could experience the incredible day that I was blessed to be a part of!

The props to explain the plagues to our newbies attending their first Seder

JoAnna attending her first Seder, and Lindsey who is becoming a veteran

Marc begins the Seder

Josh did us proud with his reading of the four questions

Steven and Josh (best friends since they were babies)
remembered they actually went to Hebrew school

Baby Edin at his second Seder, listening to the plagues
Mom Jasminka looking on

Marc and Steve explaining the symbolism of the evening

JoAnna dipping during the explanation of the plagues

Marc, Edin (who is now our official grandchild) and Jasminka
bonding during the explanation of the plagues

Edin checking out all the plague symbols as Marc read them

Steve, Josh, and Steven
(sometimes water is thicker than blood)

The girls get equal time
Joanna, Lindsey, and Rae
(my right arm for all these years)

Haris and Edin enjoying the night

Haris as usual trying to fix a problem for me

Edin is very busy with his Blackberry and his cell

I love this baby!

My other "baby" Marc,
after conducting another beautiful Seder,
a job well done!

and now if you will excuse me, I'm off to think about
the preparation of Easter dinner...
only in America!!!!!!

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  1. Elise, we had a wonderful time, and all the food was delicious as always.
    Edin enjoyed playing with the plagues(the frogs and the boils were his favorite), but Steve's cell phone was the biggest hit :))

  2. As you say....only in America!
    The church I attend is Congregational and founded originally by Japanese Christians over 100 years of our members is married to a Jewish man who is a contractor and built our new sanctuary and the social hall. One year they hosted a Seder in the Social Hall and it was attended by a large part of our congregation composed of Japanese-Americans, Filipino-Americans, Hawaiians, Chinese-American, plain old Americans and one Cuban (me) - It was fascinating learning about the symbolism of the foods and about the plagues.

  3. Hi Sonia,

    If only the rest of the world could get along like we do! How ridiculous to fight over God! That's the beauty of Hawaii, it is so well blended!