כ״ז בניסן ה׳תשע״ו (May 5, 2016) L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim

unnamed (6)This year on TRY I celebrated Passover in Israel for the first time. I was really excited and was looking forward to not only the kosher for Passover food, but also being able to spend time with family and friends.

I was in Jerusalem for the seder. I went with my cousins to their friends’ house. Since my family has many Passover traditions I look forward to every year, I was a bit nervous to spend seder away from my family and with different people, some of whom I didn’t know. It turned out that not only was the seder really nice and fun, but it was also actually quite similar to my seders at home.

A lot of the haggadah was read in English, which made it easier to understand. They also sang many of the same songs that I sing at home. However, there were also some aspects of the seder were different from what I normally do. One example was that instead of just reading the Four Sons, they made a play of the Four Daughters and we all had to guess who was who, which was really interesting. Another tradition that they have is to have one of the parents dress up as Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) for when we open the door for Eliyahu, which was really funny. It was really interesting to get to experience a seder with different traditions, and I hope that I am able to bring some of the new traditions that I learned back to my family’s seder next year.

Another thing I noticed about Passover in Israel was that because most restaurants are kosher for Passover, it makes it a lot easier to celebrate and keep kosher. Although it is nice having many kosher for Passover dining options, it also made it easy to forget that it was Passover, since we didn’t have to always consciously think about what we were eating. I felt it took away from an important theme of the holiday. It was hard to focus on the struggle that the Jews went through when leaving Egypt when there was so much freedom to eat almost anywhere. It almost didn’t feel like it was Passover.

Hannah Wohl, 16, grew up in Toronto. She is currently spending a semester studying in Jerusalem, Israel, on TRY.
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