It’s my favourite time of year! (imagine my sing-song voice, jazz-hands and mild hysteria)
Pesach is almost here and I am not even close to ready. But armed with my trusty Excel spreadsheet and much coffee, I feel optimistic (with no added caution) that all will be ready come 30 March.
This year is different from all other years for my family.
It’s our first with a kitchen that is kosher year-round, it’s our first as vegetarians and it’s our first with two of our daughters having birthdays within the eight days (one on second night, nogal).
So I’m expecting eight days of family, friends, laughter and people saying “I’m hungry” every ten minutes.
This month I have asked members of our community to reflect on what Pesach means to them and share these thoughts with us.
I have included Pesach Reflections in the past and already when I look back, these stories are so precious. We have such a wonderful community and when we share our thoughts in a forum like this we can come back to read insights and be inspired long after the person has contributed.
I have had contributions from a range of people and have enjoyed reading every one of them. I hope that you will too.
Esther Surdut tells us about her many recipes for kneidel, Glen Heneck proposes four new questions we should be asking, Heidi-Jane Esakov-Jacobson reminds us of the importance of radical acts of empathy, Irma Chait tells us how her family does Pesach, Ivor Joffe explains why Pesach is such a busy time of year, Jacqui Benson discusses Moses’ role, personal privilege and reclaiming authenticity, Karen Kallmann tells us about a few of her wonderfully different seder experiences, Lisa Sandler paints a gentle picture of prayer, tzedakah and chesed and sharing these ideals l’dor vador, Nissen Goldman tells us what it’s like being both the 10th of 11 children and the Rabbi of a Campus community, Sofia Zway reminds us that during Chol Hamoed, during a holiday celebrating our freedom, Israel will be deporting the first group of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers to Uganda and Rwanda, Theodore Yach tells us about who leads the Pesach Seder in his house, Craig Nudelman teaches us about the actual history of land in this country, Stuart Diamond explains how he is trying to bring up his daughters as kind and compassionate humans using our beautiful traditions, Andi Kuti takes us on a journey from labour to birth, and rebirth, and Yaron Wiesenbacher says a whole bunch of things that should both perplex and amuse you.
This is us.
This is our community, younger, older, lefter, righter, orthodoxer, progressiver. Argumentative and beautiful and quirky.
I’m so proud to be here.
It is my hope that in years to come, these little snippets of people’s thoughts and ideas become a lens through which we can see the past and the special, vibrant uniqueness of our Cape Town community.
I would love to read the thoughts and concerns of a Cape Town mother or business person or rabbi, written decades ago, And I hope that in decades to come, these contributions are read with nostalgia and interest in the people and ideas we have included.
May these articles act as a time capsule for Pesach 2018.
We may agree with some, and not with others, but all are interesting, all have merit and all will season our seder tables with the spice of true Yiddishkeit at Pesach.
On behalf of the CJC staff, Chairman, Editorial Board and myself, I wish you a Chag Kasher v’Sameach.