The first time I ever had a passover dinner was my freshman year of college. My mom’s old roommate Nancy invited me and a couple of my roommates to Easter dinner. I had a really great time and I thought to myself at the time, “I am totally going to do this when I have a family!”
I had decided that this would be the year we do it. The problem was that I had no idea how to even get started. SO, I went ahead and bought some tickets for a Passover dinner on campus. We had no idea what we were in for. I was really grateful that we were able to do it because I have some really great ideas now!
We walked into the Wilk and went upstairs to a long large room with tables set up, placed with linen napkins and an array of interesting objects. The night was led by Victor Ludlow:
Dad said he has met him a couple of times.
We all had a program that we read from as we went.
Brother Ludlow explained that there are 14 steps to the passover dinner. He said that there were several things that all Passovers for the pas 3,300 years have had.
The first three are the Seder plate, The roasted Shank bone and the roasted egg.
First, the Seder plate: is placed at the head of the table near the leader of the Seder. (the patriarch of the table)
The roasted shank bone:A reminder of the Paschal (The sacrifice that the Torah mandates to be brought on the eve of Passover) Lamb.
A roasted egg: A symbol of the Festival sacrifice offered up in the Jerusalem Temple.
Maror:(Mah-r’or) aka-The Bitter Herbs, here after called the Bitter herbs. Ground Horseradish, a reminder of the bitterness of the Egyptian slavery.
The Haroset, and a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine. It represents the mortar the Israelite slaves used in Egypt.
Three Matzahs: In commemoration of the unleavened bread which the Jews took with then when they fled Egypt.
The Parsley NOT ANCIENT: This is dipped into a dish of salt water before eating, which is symbolic of the coming of spring and the perpetual renewal of life.
Before we got started we looked at this table with all of the passover memorabilia:
These are fancy Matzah cloths. Each with three pouches for the three unleavened bread.
A picture of the exodus of the children of Israel.
A child’s passover play set! So cute!
We began with our first glass of wine (welches fruit of the vine). Every time we drank, we called out “Lahium, to life!”
We then ate the parsley dipped in salt water.
Our patriarch, the oldest male at our table took the three matzahs, took the middle one and broke it.
He then wrapped one half of it in the linen napkin. That became the Afikomen.
We then took our second glass of wine. You dip your finger in your wine and tap it on the plate 10 times. Once for every plague.
The saying goes the neatness of the drops says a lot about the state of your closet.
The we started onward to the eating of the passover foods.
Here was my plate. Now the bitter herbs were sitting on the table near me. They were making my eyes water just sitting there. So I was planning on just taking a tiny bit, but that wasn’t good enough. We all had to take an equal portion, because the dish had to be empty.
We did it.
You split your portion of bitter herbs in 3 equal parts. The first one you just eat:
It was terrible. The worst thing that I have ever had.
This seemed like it might be better, but it was worse. I think that it was because I had just eaten the herbs and the anticipation was terrible.
The last third you make a Hillel sandwich. I thought this wouldn’t be so bad with all the matzah and heroset. This was the worst. I realized at this point that I had managed to not eat the herb on my pallet at all. I had just shoved it to the back of my mouth and swallowed.
The taste wafted up through my nose and made me dry heave. It brought tears to my eyes and bile to my mouth. It made it down.
After that terrible experience, they brought us dinner, but I wasn’t really that hungry.
Salad with Avocado and grapefruit.
Latkahs and Chicken.
When the seder dinner was over, we had the second part of the Afikomen. Where the patriarch barters with the person that ended up with the Afikomen.
He laughed and offered a Sacagawea coin.
Brother Ludlow come over and checked out what we had decided on.
Then we ate the final matzah bread.
This middle matzah, represented the savior. Broken and bought with a price.
There was more reading, more wine drinking.
We ended with music.
It was a really great way to celebrate passover. If you ever get a chance, do it.