Friday, April 14, 2006

Thinking about Freedom during Passover

Tonight was the second night of the Jewish holiday of Passover and I went to another great Seder, this time at Samuel's house.

It was great. Samuel from work invited me to his house tonight for Seder #2, and it was just awesome. His family and friends are totally cool and the food was sweet. It was really kind of Samuel's family to invite me for the holidays and it was a great time. They even gave me some extra food to take home!! Every student's dream!! It was sweeeeeeet.

There were lots of nice people there, Sam's brother and sister were super nice and I met some of Sam's sisters friends too and they were all great. We had some great chicken, kugel (a Jewish dish made out of potato), lots of wine, roasted vegetables, matzo ball soup and some more wine! Good times.

A really interesting character drove me home too, it was great. This was one of Sam's friends who was also named Samuel, and he had big crazy hippie hair and had a super old Volvo car from 1960 that he had put together with some cool racing seats, he used to be a racecar driver in the 1960's and was telling me about that. He told me some cool stories about how in 1954 he was 16 years old and it was "a great time to be a teenager" - the war was over, rock music just came out, muscle cars were huge and were really cheap "cause people didn't know how great they were yet." Hehe it was a really interesting chat, and I got a nice compliment out of it too, he asked me what I am doing and I told him I am working at Pixar and he was very kind and told me that it was very easy to see that I am a smart guy and I sound really motivated. Haha awesome eh?!!!

It was a fun night and another great Seder. I think that not being able to eat bread, pasta, rice, and a whole bunch of other stuff for a week really makes you think about how you often take it for granted during all other times of the year. I think it's good to think about these things because the purpose of Passover is to remember the past troubles of the Jewish people and to try to understand and respect the fact that we are free to practice our religion in these great times, and with G-d's will, we will all be able to continue to practice Judaism in safety and comfort.

Interesting that the man who drove me home talked about how it was great to be living in New York as a Jew when "the war" was over. Of course he was referring to WWII, a time when the great freedom to celebrate your own culture and religion in safety, and without any religious oppression, was not the case for the Jewish people. This time was only 60 years ago, a miniscule amount of time in the range of human history. Thank G-d we live in a time now where the world is infinitely more accepting and tolerant of the minorities in the world. We can only get better at this as a society and I sure hope that we do.

Well that's my serious post after a fun and wild celebration for a serious and important time to remember the past and imagine an even more positive and bright future for humankind.

Raise your wine glass and shout "Cheers... To Life! L'Chaim!" Be well and happy Passover to my Jewish friends, happy Easter to my Christian friends, and everyone enjoy the long weekend if you've got one. :)

No comments: