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I had a conversation with Tommy, one of my Canadian saxophone-playing friends, last Wednesday night (right before we all went out and I ordered my first beer ever, cherry-flavored), in which I tried to explain matzo ball soup to him and he thought I was saying “mozza” and that it was some peculiar Jewish delicacy stuffed with cheese. At least I didn’t have to explain that one in French.

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Those are Hallie’s excellent matzo balls, from last night’s seder at her apartment. Predictably, it was the most fun seder I’ve ever been to (with the one where our opera director brought the gefilte fish in close second). Hallie, who is coming to terms with the fact that she will eventually go to cantorial school, could get anybody interested in Judaism, even the “wicked child” of our hagaddot.

I say “hagaddot,” because we used several, picking and choosing readings that we felt like doing. One of them was from Mazon, a Jewish hunger-awareness organization, and the other was social justice-themed–as if Passover weren’t already about freedom and liberation and human rights! But it was definitely thought provoking, if a leeeetle heavy-handed; both hagaddot reminded us that while we are no longer slaves, people are still enslaved today, all over the world.

That said, we laughed an awful lot. I can’t help but wonder how much of that can be attributed to the fact that we had champagne for the first glass of wine–a tradition I think I’m going to hang onto. Everybody was pretty tipsy, even me, and the conversation switched languages every once in a while to accommodate Hallie’s roommate Julien, the only Frenchman in the room.

This is Hallie crying with laughter while trying to tell us the story of the time she opened the door for Elijah and a three-legged cat walked in.

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…maybe you just had to be there.

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“Pesach is HILARIOUS!”

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Hallie and Clementine, sometime after the fourth glass of wine.

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Chris and Del, once Chris had caught his breath from the picture above.

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Chocolate-covered matzo, from the Franprix around the corner from the Cité Universitaire. True story: French matzo has even less flavor than American matzo. For a country with a fairly large, active Jewish population and a penchant for great bread, you’d think they could have come up with something better. But luckily, to quote The Princess Bride, the chocolate makes it go down easier.

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The whole crowd, except Del who is behind the camera.

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Me and Hallie, undisputed champion of the Jewish festival calendar, without whom I wouldn’t have had much to do on the Jewish holidays this year. But I’ve been at her apartment for Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving (okay, not Jewish), Chanukah, Purim and Pesach. I told her all we’re missing is Tu B’Shevat and we should go plant a tree together.

Joyeux Pesach, tout le monde!

Bisous,
Anne

P.S. My apologies for the petite size of the photos in this entry. I just figured out how to upload a bunch of them at once to Photobucket (since Flickr seems to be a lost cause), and it seems that the “medium” size setting is a hair too small. We’ll do it better next time.

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