Passover Days 4-7

April Showers much?

Normally in Israel, Passover symbolizes the end of Winter and the start of Spring. Apparently, the weather gods have their wires crossed because it’s been raining fairly non-stop for the last three days, complete with lightening and thunder.

Taken 2 days ago, or 2 months ago?

Taken 2 days ago, or 2 months ago?

This only somewhat hampered our plans for the last days of Passover, in that it was really freaking cold in Jerusalem and we did not bring appropriate clothing. And then we got wet. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

When we last met, Nooshkin and I were planning to have a very uneventful day at home. Which is exactly what we did.
Except for that one part when I got Nooshkin a balloon and she let go of it while we were outside and because it was full of helium it floated away and she watched it and it resulted in the most horrendously awful tear-induced meltdown that there ever was.

The only reason there are no pictures is because A) I’m not horrible, B) I was busy comforting Nooshkin, C) I was busy telling her “I told you so” and “This is why you should listen to me, D) I was fascinated by how quickly the balloon flew away, E) All of the above, F) Everything except “A”.

In all seriousness, it was pretty bad. Complete with “But I want it!” while tears streamed down her cheeks. *sigh*

On Tuesday, Stinky Face joined us for a trip to Akko to meet up with some family. As Hubby had the car we took the scenic route on the train.

Drawing pictures for the cousins

Drawing pictures for the cousins

And enjoying the view

And enjoying the view

We spent the day walking around the Port and Old City of Akko, and by “day” I mean about three hours because the trip up to Akko took 2.5, and that long again on the way back. But still, fun was had and we got to see the water (Nooshkin was particularly happy about that), and it was hot enough to require sunscreen.

Cousin T, Nooshkin, and Stinky Face

Cousin T, Nooshkin, and Stinky Face

"Look, water!"

“Look, water!”

Hubby met up with us for dinner at a fancy-schmancy meat restaurant that we did not know existed except that it’s been around for a few years. It was very delicious and Nooshkin acted semi-appropriately.

Wednesday was spent at home recuperating, except that Nooshkin insisted on going to the park even though it was 100 degrees outside. Actually, yes – 100 degrees. Needless to say the AC was on when Hubby came home.

She insisted on dressing herself

She insisted on dressing herself

Thursday was spent traveling to and hanging out in Jerusalem with Stinky Face. Due to the previously-mentioned weather we hung out indoors and tried to not get blown away. Nooshkin was kind of amused and bemused by the crazy weather, and reacted fairly appropriately by running around to keep warm.
We then made our way to Efrat, where we spent the remainder of Passover and Shabbat with our fake-family. This involved even more food and additional thunderstorms, and a pretty amusing game of Trivial Pursuit.

Now that the holiday is over, the kitchen has been returned to normal. Nooshkin is back in school and I am back doing the endless piles of laundry that have accumulated. At least there aren’t any dishes.

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How I Spend Every Spring Break

Well, it’s that time of year again…

*sigh*

*sigh*

Exactly one month after Purim, hamentaschen, and baked goods, the house needs to be scrubbed spotless for Passover. Because Judaism is full of hilarity.

In keeping with the theme of Jewish holidays, Passover celebrates the liberation of the Biblical Hebrews from generations of slavery in Ancient Egypt. The Hebrews were in Egypt primarily because of a pretty serious drought during the time of Joseph, and he was the Royal Vizier to the Pharaoh at the time (which meant he had connections) so he convinced his entire family to move to save themselves.
And things were pretty good, until along came another Pharaoh who “didn’t remember Joseph” (Biblical quote, too). He also seemed pretty unsettled by the sheer number of Hebrews that were currently taking up residence in his hometown, and decided to make them work for a living. And then work for no living.

Fast forward a couple of generations, and we meet Moses. Moses is alive because his mother put him in a basket down by the (Nile) river, and Pharaoh’s daughter happened to be playing in the reeds; she finds him and decides to adopt him, knowing exactly what he is. For the next few decades Moses is raised by the very people who make his peoples’ lives miserable, and he kind of loses it.

Moses runs away and finds himself; he also finds god in a burning bush that was not consumed. He comes back to Egypt a miracle worker and broken record. Essentially, this happens:

Moses: “Let my people go”
Pharaoh: “Nope”
God smites Egypt with a plague
Pharaoh: “Okay!”
God takes the plague away
Pharaoh: “Just kidding!”

Repeat 8x

On the tenth time:

God smites Egypt with the worst plague ever – Death of the Firstborn
Pharaoh: “GTFO and don’t come back!”
Moses and Hebrews: “We’re going, we’re going!”
God: Wow, I smoted them good.

About three days later Pharaoh comes to his senses (what?!) and gives chase to the Hebrews. Moses, having now gotten over his fear of public speaking, intervenes and asks for god’s help. The Red Sea splits and the Hebrews are saved; the Egyptians can’t do the backstroke very well and drown.

I don’t remember what specific event this date commemorates (thanks, Bestamama and Pa, for that super expensive Jewish education!). But I think it’s the date the Hebrews left Egypt.

In their haste to leave Egypt, the Hebrews didn’t have enough time to let their bread rise (which I find hard to believe. They weren’t working at all, and there were 10 plagues of increasing creepiness that they were immune to. Really, they had no idea what was coming?). So that’s why we eat matza.
Generations of rabbis added stringency upon stringency, to the point where Jews today cannot have anything from any kind of grain product – no bread, crackers, cheerios, pasta, cookies, whiskey, bourbon; anything fun, really.
But – not only can we not eat any of these items, we can’t own any of them either.

Hence, the cleaning. I’m completely sure that this is how the concept of Spring Cleaning originated.

Passover starts on Friday night, so this week is being devoted to cleaning, shopping, and cooking. Nooshkin is naturally very excited for all the things, especially the cleaning and shopping.

Putting nooshkin to work.

Putting nooshkin to work.

Stinky Face is coming for the entire holiday and will be sleeping on the couch, which everyone is super excited about (no, really). We have lots of fun stuff planned, most of which does not involve cleaning out the fridge and oven.

Which I really should get back to…

This is what Restlessness is all about

It’s amazing how much stuff you can do when you find yourself not working.

In the last month, in no particular order, I have managed to accomplish the following:

– File for unemployment benefits
– Be denied said benefits (as I left work of my own volition) (which makes sense)
– Be referred by the Employment Office for jobs that I’m not qualified for because they didn’t put the correct information in my file
– Get blamed for said issue
– Point out that I have no idea how to do this, and it’s therefore up to them to help me out (which shut them up pretty good)
– Fail my written driving test twice
– Pass my written driving test
– Hand off the paperwork for the actual driving test
– Clean the apartment like nobody’s business
– Donate a pile of clothing and household goods that we didn’t even know we had
– Help my sister look for a wedding dress
– Find said wedding dress
– Buy my sister things that she will need for married life
– Look for a bridesmaid dress for myself
– Fail miserably at finding one
– Lose about 3 kilo
– Get strep throat twice
– Mourn the loss of my hard drive
– Celebrate the resurrection of said hard drive (and buy a new one)
– Bake cookies for a friend who had a baby
– Make dinner for another friend who had a baby
– Start an extremely halfhearted attempt at job hunting
– Start an even more halfhearted attempt at finding another apartment
– Teach myself Spanish (there’s an app for that!)

I think I deserve a pat on the back, and some chocolate-peanut butter pie.