With the release date for my new book Gluten-Free Cupcakes, bearing down on me less than one week from today, I feel as though Passover really snuck up on me this year. I did not post any Passover Menus, though do have ones from years past for those that might be looking for a good kugel recipe or some gluten free Gefilte Fish.
Our Seder was small and beautiful, just the 4 of us –myself, my hubby and the two boys. They are now 11 and 12 and it was beautiful to watch them participate in the Seder so enthusiastically. The highlights for me were talking about our gratefulness for the liberation of the Jews from Pharaoh in Egypt and then bringing that discussion into our present day lives, discussing the types of slavery that currently exist and what our hopes are for the liberation of other peoples.
My husband went first. His wish is for freedom of speech for people in China. He travels to China quite a bit and has grown fond of the country (though not so much the food). The boys did not have many questions about oppression in China, though I had a couple and we had a brief and lively discussion on this subject.
I was next. Last November I read Nicholas Kristoff’s moving book Half the Sky. He discusses the subjugation of women around the globe and I was particularly moved by his discussion of female enslavement. We all talked about what this means for women and often their families. I then made a commitment to donate to an organization that helps free women from the sex trade.
My older son then talked about the oppression and maltreatment of the people who grow our food in the agricultural system in this country –people who are underpaid and exposed to pesticides. I was moved by his wish for the health and freedom of such people.
My younger son was very concerned about the people in Ivory Coast who grow cacao for chocolate and are abused and underpaid. He was especially sensitive to the plight of children exploited in the chocolate industry. I liked his topic of discussion as he is a big fan of milk chocolate, and I enjoyed hearing about his continued commitment to only eating fair trade chocolate.
The discussion we had above, and our reflections on the enslavement and freedom of peoples other than the Jews, is an old tradition that stems from my family of origin, and one I am so grateful to have inherited. This is a very political holiday for my family.
We have so much to be thankful for here in our country, in Colorado and especially in Boulder. Spring and Passover are the perfect time for me to count my blessings and the many gifts of freedom in my life and to be grateful for the courage of my parents and ancestors and appreciative of all that they have gifted to me.
I hope you all had a wonderful Seder. What freedoms are you thankful for? What freedoms do you hope others will have in the coming years? Leave a comment and let us all hear!