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Family Diversity and Traditions

                           

Some people may not know this, but my mother-in-law is Jewish and my father-in-law is Methodist.  When Dave and I got married, he agreed that we would teach our kids about their heritage, but we would raise them in the Catholic Church.  Having a family rich in diversity allows for our children to learn about different traditions such as Hanukkah and Passover. 

                           
One of the very interesting Jewish traditions is the Passover Seder. This Jewish ritual feast marks the beginning of the Passover and is typically conducted in late March or April. A couple of years ago my mother-in-law prepared a Seder dinner for our family and for my sister-in-law’s family. My in-laws were in town for Easter and my mother-in-law graciously offered to prepare a Seder Dinner for our family and Christa’s family. 
                           
The Seder dinner involves retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Generally Seder customs include telling the story, discussing the story, drinking wine, and eating matzo. We decided to forgo the wine and drink grape juice instead. 
                          

My mother-in-law prepared much of the meal beforehand.  While she was preparing some of the other dishes, Christa and I were put in charge of making the Latkes (potato pancakes). 
                           

One of the appetizers was gefilte fish, a poached mixture of ground deboned fish such as carp, whitefish, or pike. We dipped it in horseradish sauce. 
                           

The Passover Seder plate is a special plate that contains six symbolic foods used during the dinner to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic item, a stack of three matzot, is placed on its own plate on the Seder table. 
                            

The children are an important part of the Seder dinner.  At one point in the dinner the kids ran to the back door and opened it for the prophet Elijah.
                           
                          
                          
                            

There was a ritual of washing of the hands.  We used baby wipes for this part. Another interesting part was dipping lettuce in salt water. 
Overall, the Seder dinner was great.  It was a unique experience that I would highly recommend you partaking in if given the chance.  Today many faiths besides Judaism hold Seder dinners. 
                        

No matter what your religion or your beliefs, I highly encourage everyone to be tolerant of other’s beliefs and open your mind to traditions that are not familiar to you. 
Our question for you, what is a unique family tradition that you enjoy partaking in?

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