Monday, 21 April 2014

Passover 2014 reflections

This is my own personal thoughts on this years Passover - 

During the intermediate days, it has been great to have festive evening meal, which have included  incredibly excellent D'var Torah reflections each day (Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and looking forward to tonight's talk on the parting of the Red Sea, by my eldest). The special Shabbat this Friday was also an enjoyable affair.

Passover Seder 
As for our two Passover Seders; it was great as ever to have family and friends, Jewish and not Jewish, gathered to celebrate another Passover .It was good to see Mrs K in a Sari as the meals are an important occasion we 'dress up' in our best; for me that was black lounge suite & broad brimmed hat, I DON'T, however, wear a shritmel. Each seder each started at about 7 and ended  well after 1 am (formally at least, I believe that Hannah, Sam and a few others continued discussing & drinking till at least 5 am).  Food  was bountiful, presented in a  traditional style on the first night and Tapas the second night, see HERE for the food and wine menu.

Theological truth/insight 
I think for me the bit that I really picked up on this year was the message of Psalm 136, which we sing as part of the Seder, which has been particularly pertinent for me personally, for other people I know and for our family generally. I believe it is a self explanatory song, so won't bother with a homily or anything further :

1Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, for His kindness is eternal.
א. הוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
2. Give thanks to the God of the angels, for His kindness is eternal.ב. הוֹדוּ לֵאלֹהֵי הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His kindness is eternal.ג. הוֹדוּ לַאֲדֹנֵי הָאֲדֹנִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
4To Him Who performs great wonders alone, for His kindness is eternal.ד. לְעֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת לְבַדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
5To Him Who made the heavens with understanding, for His kindness is eternal.ה. לְעֹשֵׂה הַשָּׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
6To Him Who spread out the earth over the water, for His kindness is eternal.ו. לְרֹקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל הַמָּיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
7To Him Who made great luminaries, for His kindness is eternal.ז. לְעֹשֵׂה אוֹרִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
8The sun to rule by day, for His kindness is eternal.ח. אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת בַּיּוֹם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
9The moon and stars to rule at night, for His kindness is eternal.ט. אֶת הַיָּרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים לְמֶמְשְׁלוֹת בַּלָּיְלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
10To Him Who smote the Egyptians with their firstborn, for His kindness is eternal.י. לְמַכֵּה מִצְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
11And He took Israel from their midst, for His kindness is eternal.יא. וַיּוֹצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
12With a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, for His kindness is eternal.יב. בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
13To Him Who cut the Sea of Reeds asunder, for His kindness is eternal.יג. לְגֹזֵר יַם סוּף לִגְזָרִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
14And caused Israel to cross in its midst, for His kindness is eternal.יד. וְהֶעֱבִיר יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹכוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
15And He threw Pharaoh and his host into the Sea of Reeds, for His kindness is eternal.טו. וְנִעֵר פַּרְעֹה וְחֵילוֹ בְיַם סוּף כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
16To Him Who led His people in the desert, for His kindness is eternal.טז. לְמוֹלִיךְ עַמּוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
17To Him Who smote great kings, for His kindness is eternal.יז. לְמַכֵּה מְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
18And slew mighty kings, for His kindness is eternal.יח. וַיַּהֲרֹג מְלָכִים אַדִּירִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
19Sihon the king of the Amorites, for His kindness is eternal.יט. לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
20And Og the king of Bashan, for His kindness is eternal.כ. וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
21And He gave their land as an inheritance, for His kindness is eternal.כא. וְנָתַן אַרְצָם לְנַחֲלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
22An inheritance to Israel His servant, for His kindness is eternal.כב. נַחֲלָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
23Who remembered us in our humble state, for His kindness is eternal.כג. שֶׁבְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָכַר לָנוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
24And He rescued us from our adversaries, for His kindness is eternal.כד. וַיִּפְרְקֵנוּ מִצָּרֵינוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
25Who gives bread to all flesh, for His kindness is eternal.כה. נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:
26Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His kindness is eternal.כו. הוֹדוּ לְאֵל הַשָּׁמָיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:


  1. a six hour meal?!? How does that one work?

    1. Hi Terry,

      This is a meal and a religious service rolled into one you see. We follow a 'service book' (I'm trying to explain in Anglican language) called the Haggadah which focuses on the Exodus story and part of this is to have a meal, however, we don't just mindlessly repeat this service, it is VERY interactive and we debate, discuss, take part in the service, so it isn't something we rush over &we NEVER rush over food!

      We also do a lot of singing -Psalms 113 to 118 & Psalm 136, at various points.Nishmat is also sung as well as many other hymns and songs; the blessings can also be sung. After the 'official' end me, Dave, Rach, Shoom and a couple of others continued the singing with 'the song of songs' (from the Bible- it is a tradition!) as well as lots of other stuff. So yes, it does take a long time. We don't rush stuff, being Sephardic and we take time to celebrate, reflect and praise G-d. He's worth it.

  2. Dominique Vasilkovsky21 April 2014 at 23:16

    Hi David,

    First night- spent it with Hannah and Rachel, so I won't take their glory away! Nice meal, always liked Sephardi cooking! Lots of religious discussions, I think I mentioned why was Pharaoh such a stubborn dick? He should have quit after the first plague.

    Second night - unofficial start was 4.00pm, nibbles and drinks, formal start 5.40 pm. Went on till about midnight. Unofficial end was much later than that!

    Food- chicken soup, beef in red wine, chocolate desert

    Lots of red wine as well.

  3. Antipodean Jewess21 April 2014 at 23:27

    Thanks for this summary.

    Started about 5.30 pm, ended midnight.

    Food- Gefilte, beef brisket, roasted asparagus, Matzo ball soup, & Parve for desert

  4. Antipodean Jewess21 April 2014 at 23:33

    Theological thought or discussion was particularly regarding the 4 sons .Are these reflections of other faiths and if so which ones??!

  5. I thought it was Eastern European Jews wore black hats. And how does your wife get away with wearing a sari, given the ridiculous modesty laws of orthodox Judaism?

    1. I like big black hats & Mrs K's Sari's are perfectly 'modest'. If you are looking for stereotypical troupes here then this isn't the place for you. Wikipedia is.


  6. Hi Dom,

    Yes, forgot to add our little first night (2nd night was with Big bro and co!):

    Food (served Tapas) -

    Spicy meatballs in tomato sauce
    Bread, olive oil & olives
    Chicken & mushroom in red wine
    Fried Fish in batter
    Tandori Chicken
    Chicken Kubbeh & pumpkin sauce
    Tabbouleh (a salad)
    Tepsi Baytinijan

    Theological insight- loads! I think that I like David's though of G-d's enduring love and kindness. We discussed quite a lot on both nights, I think. But at our first Seder we talked a lot about Moses, the burning bush and his relationship with G-d and Moses's half brother Pharaoh. We also discussed how it isn't always easy to do what G-d wants of you, but like Moses we need to have the courage to do so. Also Moses wasn't a perfect figure and so if we ever feel ourselves as lacking or get judged by other Jews, we can remind ourselves that the most important figure in Jewish history wasn't exactly without his own sin.

  7. Please keep the food advises, reflections, observations, theological insights coming.

  8. The Meddling Rabbi22 April 2014 at 00:20

    This is what i like about Jews- never do anything by half's !

  9. The Meddling Rabbi22 April 2014 at 00:21

    Like the Caribbean tune to 136, btw, Where do you get these things from?!?

  10. Happy Jack agrees with all those sayings, David. He admires the Jewish traditions greatly and the way religious observance is woven into your lives.

    However, can Jack be reassured about Hannah's singing voice please?


    1. Happy Jack ,

      I'm glad that you do, as the Psalms are also part of your Bible.

      I can't comment on Hannah's singing voice, it just wouldn't be right...

  11. Hannah thanks for that/ Don't tell dodo, but technically i'm a Catholic- just haven't been to Mass in a while! Seems like it'd be short compared to your services though....

    1. Is it Confession the barrier to returning to the Church? Well, this necessary step got in my way after a number of years outside. Then what a blessing to return to a state of Grace. It is wonderful returning to full Communion with Christ through His Church.

  12. Benedict is still Pope!Cardinal Bergoglio – "Pope Francis"- is the Biblical anti-Pope- Petrus Romanus ! It is there as prophesied by St. Malachy so many hundreds of years ago!

    The One World Church is soon upon us, to be established by Francis and his Freemason friends, as the real Church is crucified and killed and buried. Only the underground Remnant Church will be providing true Sacraments to faithful souls. Recall that Jesus was condemned near the end of His earthly life, right before His crucifixion. The Church today will be crucified also, since the servant is not greater than her Master.

    What we see instead within the Church, all the way to Francis’ level, are approval of prelates like Cardinal Kasper who promotes acceptance of the grave sins of adultery and sacrilege by promoting the idea that those people living in invalid “second marriages” (e.g. divorced and remarried without first having obtained an annulment on the prior marriage) should be able to receive Holy Communion. Such is part of the great apostasy. All of these devilish lies are dressed up under the usual smoke screen of being “pastoral” and “merciful.” Whenever you hear of a “pastoral approach” being used rather than a “doctrinal approach” or “lawful / legal approach,” know this is a great sign of hiding abuses and heresies. As bad as that is, the saying “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” is the understatement of the millennium. Watch for the signs!

    The resignation of Benedict XVI was invalid. The schism of the Church approaches
    The resignation of Benedict XVI was invalid. The schism of the Church approaches.

    1. No sure I concur with the statement Benedict remains Pope or the role you assign to Francis. However, I do agree with much of your underlying analysis of the fight facing the Church in this age of modernism and liberalism.

    2. Anti-pope Francis is NOT Petrus Romanus (in English Peter the Roman) as prophesied by St. Malachy so many hundreds of years ago. The final pope prophecy is as follows: “In extreme persecution, in the final persecution of the Holy Roman [Catholic] Church, there will sit Peter the Roman [a pope], who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”

      Notice the emphasized text – pasturing the sheep is only what good popes do. An anti-pope is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and hence cannot truly pasture the sheep. Therefore this anti-pope is not Petrus Romanus, who instead is a good – and final – pope yet to come.

      Rather anti-pope Francis is the Biblical False Prophet...

    3. Anyone who says that a Pope could be the false prophet means that Satan has triumphed over the Catholic Church. That makes Jesus Christ a liar. “…on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail.” (Mathew 16:18)

    4. So what do you want Catholics to do by this expose? Put up a new religion? Kill the Pope? Petition another conclave? What?

    5. Mouse and Wheel22 April 2014 at 15:04

      Perhaps Petros Romanos will be like Joan of Arc ,a saint of our times who will appear to pasture the remanant christians .He will be recognised because God will be with him, for this particular mission .Time will tell us in a near future.We cannot expect that the catholic church to elect an another pontiff.The blessed Virgin foretold at Garabandal,that:After the Pope Paul vi, three Popes will appear,then will be the end.Therefore Antipope Francis is not from God,and his moto is not mentioned in Malachy’s prophetices .Petros Romanos will nourish his sheep,those who will recognise him as an Instrument of God during time of great tribulation,which will bring with it confusion of all sorts.We are living in time of great apostasy and rebellion.So we have to face persecution from some those who are not faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    6. Dominique Vasilkovsky22 April 2014 at 15:06

      What is all this about? Peter Romans? Anti-Popes?!

    7. Charles Coughlin22 April 2014 at 16:28

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    8. Dom,

      Oh I wish I knew, I'm going to set up a thread in which people can discuss anything they want, which will hopefully give space to those who wish to discuss these matters....

    9. Hi Dom/Dave.

      I think that it is all to do with christian- biblical end times; the stuff Len on Cranmer normally goes on about. I didn't realise that the Catholics had a similar 'wing' .

  13. Hannah's friend22 April 2014 at 08:08

    Hannah is a wonderful cook and a brilliant singer!! (:

  14. Do you sing Exodus 15?

    1. Yes. It is called 'the song of the sea', if you want to find a version on the net.

  15. I also thought you weren't supposed to write during the last days of passover??!

    1. Rebel Jew

      I don't see this blog as work.

  16. Samuel Kavanagh22 April 2014 at 11:43

    It was a cracking Passover. I enjoyed going to Hannah's pad on the first night (and the special Shabbat Sleepover) and then home @ Dave's on the second. Good food and lots of interesting religious/spiritual discussion as well. Having been on the 'other side' with my ex, you just don't get that in Christianity.

  17. David K, in response to Happy Jack's inquiry regarding his sister's singing voice, said:

    "I can't comment on Hannah's singing voice, it just wouldn't be right..."

    Tell Jack, does she sound like a camel is biting her ear?


    (Sorry Hannah, HJ just couldn't resist)

    1. HJ

      I'll leave Hannah to respond. What did Francis Urquart once say?

  18. Wow, you Jews know how to party and worship, I'll give you that...

  19. Glad to see you had a good Passover bro!

    Food- Ours was traditional Sephardi and Azkenazi ( Israel is now quite a cool fusion of the two cultures).

    Reflection- G-d is great, merciful and kind to his people.

  20. Oh and can Hannah sing? Of course! She's a Kavanagh.

    'nough said.

  21. Started at 5.30pm, ended at 11.30pm. Food a mixture of traditional Azkenazi and Sephardi food with a French/Moroccan influence.

    Thought was that we've taken Judaism much more seriously (well more so than usual) since being more isolated and among non- Jewish neighbours and that this has strengthened our beliefs ,not destroyed them.

  22. @ Dodo ,

    There is an important distinction to be understood when it comes to the Catholic Papacy, and that is what is an Anti-pope compared to a Pope?

    In short, an Anti-pope is a false claimant of the Holy See in opposition to a pontiff canonically elected. Throughout the history of the Church, many illegal pretenders to the Papal Chair have arisen, and frequently exercised pontifical functions in defiance of the true occupant. At one point, there were two simultaneous Anti-popes and one (there can be only one) valid Pope. Details are available in the Catholic Encyclopedia here.

    Many Protestants, having believed the errors of Martin Luther and successors, claim that the papacy itself is the Antichrist or Beast. Lutheran Book of Concord states, “[T]he pope is the real Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ . . . Accordingly, just as we cannot adore the devil himself as our lord or God, so we cannot suffer his apostle, the pope or Antichrist, to govern us as our head or lord” (Smalcald Articles 2:4:10, 14). Not so. The true pontiff remains Pope Benedict XVI because a forced resignation is invalid according to Canon Law.

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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