Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Pesach

As with all marriages we have a division of labor in the AB household. I would say it is roughly 50-50, with both of us taking up the slack of the other when needs warrant it. Yes, we have mysteriously divided it up along traditional sex-roles a little more often than I would have pictured in my women's college days but you know what? I hate mowing the lawn. And he dusts terribly. But part of the division of labor that I loathe is that I seem to be in charge of home life. I doubt that will change but I don't want to Mommy the man so I have very carefully (and sometimes resentfully) resisted being in charge of our spiritual life.

Part of converting is figuring out what you need from your religion. Judaism isn't just going to temple or reading the Torah, it is being part of a community and living your life a certain way. And it looks different for every person. So while I was the driver behind meeting with the rabbi and going to class and I certainly do more to study and learn than he does I do not want to be in charge of his Jewish life. So with Passover this week I asked idly what he wanted to do and he didn't really answer. For me, I can be Jewish without ever attending temple (honestly, the most compelling things in Judaism happen outside of temple), even though I like going, so I wasn't going to worry about it. So color me fucking annoyed when he was a little bratty about not having a Seder to attend at the last minute.

BUT. I toughed it out and found us one (because if I waited for him well . . .this is how I was looking the day that Passover began) for last night. I hate calling strangers and meeting with strangers and have about eighty kinds of social anxiety and this hit every one of those buttons.

I am so glad we did it.

It was a community Seder. Attended by J's old boss (who's wife needs to pull the stick out because there is NO NEED to be so passive aggressive Missy) and no one else we knew. And it ruled.

We sat at a table with a bunch of old Christian ladies. They were curious about the holiday and had the most cheerful attitude. They were really trying to learn and experience. They ate all the food (one even begged me to find out what kind of horseradish we were eating and I think she ate most of a jar). They got drunk on the wine and asked lots of questions (Jesus really didn't have a Seder? I thought that was the Last Supper?). They were a delight.

Best part? We weren't the new Jews. To them we were experts. The only annoying part is I am pretty sure they thought I was a shiksa and gave J credit for being born Jewish. Damn him and his dark hair! He claims that even I dyed mine I wouldn't pass but SIGH.

They said they were going to come next year and want to sit at our table.

Passover is the holiday most celebrated by Jews around the world. And it is not celebrated in the temple but in the home. That is really the essence of Judaism (though the woman leading the Seder last night claimed it was the wine which good point). This is part of what makes it hard to convert--you have no one to learn these traditions from, no one to celebrate them with. But this is what makes it special. One of the most important times of the year is celebrated in the home, with your family (or the family you have created). I feel lucky that we got to share it with everyone last night.

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