It’s that time of the year again!! PASSOVER. If you are Jewish this means spring cleaning, not merely to make your home clean and fresh, but also to rid your home of every particle of bread (chometz) or anything associated with chometz in readiness for the festival of Passover (Pesach). Passover which celebrates the exodus of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, is marked by Jewish families by one or two “Seder” meals, when symbolic food (including unleavened bread/matzo) is eaten during the retelling of the story of the escape from Egypt.
At the Museum we offer the opportunity for the wider community to experience a little bit of Passover in our demonstration Seders. This has always been popular and this year has been no exception. This week we were delighted to welcome 86 pupils on Monday and 50 pupils on Tuesday. Next week looks equally busy with 60 pupils expected on Monday and 46 adults expected on Tuesday.
As usual we rely on our small army of volunteers to help us organize these demonstrations Seders. The fact is we could not manage without them. Every visitor to the Seder is provided with a small glass of grape juice and a little plate filled with tastes of the symbolic foods. The volunteers willingly give up their own time to arrange the plates, serve them to visitors and clear away after they have finished. These dedicated people have been helping us year after year and all have strong opinions on how it should be done.
This year, as in previous years, pupils were excitedly anticipating listening to the story of the Exodus. Often, it can be difficult for them to understand the concept of slavery. Our Education officer starts by asking for suggestions as to the meaning of the word “slave” or “slavery”. One pupil raised his hand and said “A slave is not paid”. With a flash of inspiration, our education officer pointed to a the volunteers standing over in the corner and asked everyone “Are they slaves?”. All the volunteers nodded in unison and chorused “Yes!”, which caused a great roar of laughter!!