About Passover, Speedy Haggadahs and Human Rights

Last night we celebrated the first night of Passover with my cousins. I’ve not always been a fan of the whole Seder thing. As a kid, it was protracted and boring and, as an adult (and lapsed Jew) it always filled me with a mixture of identity crisis and homesickness. Last night’s was filled with the usual angst but also with a new respect for the intention of the Seder and how many of the ancient elements of the Haggadah (the prayer book used for the Seder) still apply to many of the political and social struggles faced today.

Before I get too heavy, I wanted to share this Two Minute Haggadah that a friend sent me—a funnily, abbreviated, modern version of a service that can last almost two hours or more before you even get to the matzah balls!

Back to the real stuff, below is a photo I snapped last night featuring one section of the Haggadah that spoke to me. Feels quite fitting, given that today is the first day that the Supreme Court tackles marriage equality which I fully support.

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Advice to My 16-Year Old Self

This morning, a tweet from MumClub asking “what would you tell your 16-year old self?” got me thinking. Often I can tweet a quick, snappy response but this I needed to mull over. So I stepped into the shower, and ideas kept popping into my head. Thanks to my waterproof Post-It notes, I wrote down the following advice to Samantha Stern:

  • Keep working on your writing and languages—they will be the foundation of your success
  • There is so much more than Duran Duran
  • You are not fat
  • Dating/kissing boys that are not Jewish will not be the end of the world
  • Friendships trump religious differences
  • Invest in your friends—you’re going to need them
  • Gary Morris may break your heart but there are lots of fish in the see—explore 😉
  • Red heads have more fun
  • Keep dancing
  • Go on blind dates (the last one will be the best one)
  • You are in charge of your future
  • Mum and Dad were right about many things (but not about only kissing/dating Jewish boys)
  • Find your own style
  • Keep traveling
  • Bacon is not evil
  • In two years, Mum and Dad will take you to see Les Miserables. It will change everything.
  • Try sushi: you’ll like it!

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