Let My People Go

Posted By on April 1, 2010

So Tuesday I trekked up to Milwaukee to hang out with Ali and her family. She’s in town for Passover, which is going on right now for the next lots of days. And since Milwaukee is a lot closer than Atlanta (or Toronto), I figured I would take some time off work to go hang out with her and experience my first Passover Seder.

Since having Ali (and Metalia) come into my life, I am much more knowledgeable about the Jewish faith. In fact, sometimes I’m pretty sure I know more about Judaism than Catholicism. I have experienced the Sabbath and Rosh Hashanah. Last year I was in Atlanta for Yom Kippur, but decided to head out of town that day since that involves fasting and really, the best part about Jewish holidays is the food!

Up until a few weeks ago, all I knew about Passover was that you couldn’t eat bread or anything with grains. You’re only allowed to eat unleavened bread. Just the idea of no bread made me want to pass over celebrating this holiday. (Pass over, get it?) But then I realized I love Ali and her kids and I was like “I’m not going to let a crumby cracker stand in my way of hanging out with the Martells!”

So Passover is kind of  a big deal. (I know this because of Twitter, of course.) Knowing this and seeing so many people tweet and post about it, it got me a little nervous. I’m not good when it comes to religious things and I have this huge fear that I’m just going to do something like touch the sacred cup and give the entire house full of people bad luck for the year just because I had unleavened bread stuck in my throat and needed to wash it down! (Clearly I think too much and have insane worries.)

So I spent a better part of the last week on Wikipedia figuring out what exactly was going to go on. I learned after my first experience at Ali’s mom’s house, when I walked in loud and yelling in jeans and flip flops during the blessing during the Shabbat lunch, that it is best to come prepared, lest I make an ass out of myself and get shunned. Mostly I was researching on Wikipedia because this tweet from Ali’s husband kind of freaked me out.

But then I found out that Passover involves having to drink wine. YOU HAVE TO! And not just one glass, but FOUR GLASSES! This is a celebration I can get behind! Pass the Matzo!

Ali’s stepdad (who is the Mayor, BTW) was very good at explaining things. And the books they were reading from were in both English and Hebrew so I could follow along. Of course spending the whole time flipping to the pages that told me when the wine drinking was going to happen.

The one thing I like about Judaism, where it differs so greatly from Catholicism, is that questioning things is encouraged. As a Catholic, you’re supposed to take everything as it is said and obey it. No ifs, ands or buts. But in Judaism you’re not only allowed to question things, you’re encouraged to. In fact, a lot of the Passover “event” is doing just that. Which I only encourage to a certain point because LET’S EAT ALREADY!

Yeah, because we didn’t eat until about 10 PM. The fact that everything was SO good (minus the parsley that I ate before I was supposed to and the horseradish root) helped make up for my growling stomach. And the wine. The wine helped. (Yes, I ate the REAL horseradish and it cleared out my sinus. Because Ali and Gabe told me I had to and I didn’t want to get sent to Jewish jail/hell or something.) (Again, irrational fears.)

I really enjoyed myself. It was fun, as always, to hang out with Ali, Gabe and the kids. I got to play SPIT with Emily (and totally kicked her ass too), laughed at Josh when he got hit in the face multiple times with a ball and told him to learn how to catch better and had Bella show me how to decorate a cookie on the iPhone. And I’m planning to go up and bother them again on Saturday, whether they like it or not. Because I AM A MARTELL STALKER!

I’ll admit, I did not enjoy driving home at midnight. Because it is construction season in the Midwest, which means I had to take detours, including one through the streets of Milwaukee. Thank GOD the detour signs were well placed and I didn’t get lost. I also did not enjoy getting home at 2 AM and not getting enough sleep. But it was totally worth it!

So now I know for next year to take the day off afterward. Oh yes, I did just already invite myself to next year’s Seder!

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


9 Responses to “Let My People Go”

  1. Jenn says:

    You’re hilarious. Glad you had a good time! Have a great weekend!!
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Oh, For the Love of Bike… =-.

  2. Mahnee says:

    No matter how I say this, it’s going to sound weird but I learned a lot about the Jewish faith working at Wrigley in high school. I was one of the few gentiles employed in concessions. It’s always interesting to open yourself up and learn new things.

    INo comment on the Catholic things. It’s Good Friday and I don’t want to end up in hell for what I would say.

  3. Jennie says:

    LOL! Thanks for the tips – we’re going to our first one tonight. *a little nervous*

  4. alimartell says:

    if by stalker you mean PART OF THE FAMILY, then yes.
    .-= alimartell´s last blog ..Passover Things Learned. I Mean, So Far… =-.

  5. Angella says:

    I don’t think Ali would mind if I invited myself to the seder, right? Because I’d love to learn more (and drink four glasses of wine). 😉
    .-= Angella´s last blog ..What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You =-.

  6. jodifur says:

    It was fun to read a Seder through a non Jews’ eyes. Our Seders are not this fun.
    .-= jodifur´s last blog ..Shoe Friday #71 =-.

  7. Allie says:

    That sounds great; I’ve always wanted to go to a Seder. Glad you enjoyed it.

    P.S. It’s construction season *already*? Jeez, don’t they wait until May or something? It’s always ridiculous trying to get from one side of the state to the other up here…last summer a two hour trip to Comerica Park took about 3 1/2.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Note to Self =-.

  8. Jen says:

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed the Seder! It sounds like you had fun. As long as you did not show up to the Seder eating a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich on butter-drenched, fluffy, toasted bread I am sure you did just fine 🙂

  9. Kerri Anne says:

    I think I would have been asleep by glass three. I’m such a lightweight these days, for shame.
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..Remembering =-.