Friday, March 19, 2010

Is the seder like the SuperBowl?

One of my cousins, and her husband, are absolutely NUTS about the Superbowl.

They buy, cook, and serve food to roughly 100 guests every year while watching the game. They wear the colors of their favorite team. They talk endlessly before (and during and afterwards) about the prospects, the players, the weather conditions, etc.

I actually know all of this only from FaceBook, where I was reading regular updates from them about how many pounds of meat they'd purchased, etc.

I can't stand sports.

I mean, really, who cares which team wins? If you're not playing (or winning lots of money from a bet) why does it matter to you?

Last night, Bad Cohen and I were having our annual "why-do-YOU-find-this-important-no-I-asked-first" discussion about the seder (in response to my totally out of control approach and his laid-back, happy-just-to-show-up-and-eat one).

I really don't think G-D gives a hoot if we make our kids go through the motions every year. That's not why I do it.

I do it because it's what "we" do. It's what makes "us" us. It's enacting Jewish peoplehood. And I want my son to experience that, and find it fun and meaningful and interesting. No doubt when he's grown he'll have his own take on it, but for now, there's a lot of pageantry when we host the seder. (And a lot of chametz when BC's family hosts, but that's another story.)

So, maybe the seder, for us non-frummies, especially for those of us who obsess about the menu, make a different haggadah every year tailored for the attendees, paint backdrops and make 5x5' pyramids for the kids to play in, is sort of like painting your face in the team colors and making the 7-layer nacho dip.

The game is what it is.

But the party around the game is what makes it ours, and what makes us part of it.


Anonymous Woodrow/Conservadox said...

And I always thought it was about liberation from Pesach cleaning.

Fun thought: when I kept kosher for Pesach but didn't clean, I hated Pesach.

Now that I clean, I hate Pesach much less.

3/21/2010 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Minnesota Mamaleh said...

thanks for this post. love the image of the hooplah (pyramids and backdrops, oh my!) and appreciate the sentiment. as busy as life is, it's hard to keep your eye on the prize which amongst other things, is passing things onto our little ones.

3/21/2010 9:16 PM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Woodrow - interesting. How can you keep kosher for Pesach without cleaning?

Frankly, I have come to loathe cleaning in general, but especially cleaning for Passover. But I think the majority of that dislike is that I'm cleaning up OTHER PEOPLE'S MESSES (ahem, men-folk) all by myself.

3/22/2010 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TOTALLY. love the super bowl analogy. this is the most observed Jewish holiday - more than ANY OTHER. more than Hanukkah! people connect to this story, OUR story. there is some genetic connection even (well, maybe :-)) that creates a compulsion to make sure this story gets told every year, in some way, shape or form.

3/22/2010 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, i'm now trying to figure out how i can incorporate buffalo wings and 7-layer-dip into the seder. hmmmm.

3/22/2010 8:39 PM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Totally! I mean, Pesach is all about dipping, right? ;)

3/23/2010 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

"I do it because it's what "we" do. It's what makes "us" us. It's enacting Jewish peoplehood. "

This. This is what all Jewish holidays are about for me. Knowing that other Jews are doing the same thing all over the world.

As for the Super Bowl comparison? Very apt. :)

3/23/2010 3:41 PM  

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