“A lot of Joy, Spring has come,
Passover is coming.”
This is a phrase from a very famous song in Hebrew. Of course, in Hebrew those lines rhyme: “Simcha raba, simcha raba, aviv hageea, pesach ba”.
Springtime in Israel is one of the most beautiful times. The grass is green; the flowers are flourishing; and the amazing weather brings out families to take advantage of vacations from work and school, to go for a nice hike, and to travel to places all over Israel. My family did this for many years. The age difference between me and my sister is the same as that between my 2 cousins, so we always enjoyed each other’s company.
Another sign that spring has come is all the grocery stores filled with advertising that includes flowers. And don’t forget the fancy soda bottles in a special large edition for a happy Passover, huge matzah packages, and Israeli chocolate spread (the best snack you can have. Some claim it is good only because you can have it once a year, kind of like Girl Scout cookies).
In past years the family seder has been shortened more and more every year, since we all wanted to get to the food. Our parents always tried to fool their kids to go look for Eliyahu Hanavee (that guy to whom we leave a glass of wine). Having an uncle named ELI of course made it even more real for us. We were always LOOKING FOR UNCLE ELI. Of course, we always came back empty-handed, but under the table there were presents waiting for all of us. In my family you didn’t have to find the afikoman in order to win. Everybody won!
Let us not forgot that this month includes 2 other very important holidays for ISRAEL and for Jews around the world. There’s the Memorial Day for soldiers who have lost their lives protecting the only Jewish state, and Independence Day of the Jewish state.
Let us not forget that without those soldiers who defended and fought (and those who are still defending) for Israel’s independence and existence, we would have no Jerusalem to go to, and of course no Haifa, Tel Aviv, Eilat etc.
We Jews, and of course those of any religion, are welcome, as well as those who have no other place to go, or those who no longer feel safe where they are, or those who no longer feel they belong.
On a different note, I will finish with a joke that my uncle David tells EVERY YEAR: “All the Jewish holidays are the same: they tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat!