The Four Grown Ups: A Haggadah Supplement

This morning I was thinking and reading a little about the four children in the Passover Hagaddah, which are usually depicted as the wise child, the wicked child , the simple child and the child who is too young to ask. Every Haggadah will interpret these children a little differently, but they all have suggestions on how to parent each child according to their needs. While not directly related, I was also inspired by this piece by the Velveteen Rabbi about parents obligations at Passover to children.  And since the children were playing with magnetic tiles for a long time …

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Keeping Children and Parents Engaged at Passover Seders

This piece originally ran in the Washington Jewish Week. With Passover just a few days away, most of us still have a long list of things to accomplish.  Between cleaning the house, removing chametz, shopping, gathering recipes and planning a Seder, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But if you are a parent it is worth adding one more thing to the list: deciding about how to occupy young children during the Seder and holiday.   Since Passover is all about passing on tradition, ideas abound for engaging children. One way to engage children during the week of Passover is by …

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My Passover Parenting Fail

This piece originally ran at Kveller.com. On the way home from Sunday school, my tiny children asked so many uncomfortable questions. They asked about God, and death, and bad guys, and then something even worse. That Egyptian child from the tenth plague was just temporarily frozen, I told them. Once Pharaoh realized his mistake all the children were fine. Then I desperately tried to change the subject, but it kept coming back. My children watched Prince of Egypt in Sunday school this weekend. They didn’t watch a short excerpt either. They watched a pretty big chunk of the movie and it was nowhere near …

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Matzah in the Sandbox (repost)

I am reposting what I posted around the third day of Passover last year since I have some new readers.  There is no time to write now, but I am experiencing the now annual matzah crumb issue and I am thinking that if Jewish Mamas invented our Jewish celebrations, somehow Passover would have been linked with Sukkah and we would always eat matzah outside,  just like during the #exodus.    Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming …

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Passover is So Very Close

We will sit down for a Shabbat and Passover dinner very soon but it is not yet sunset and my husband took both children out to cover the strawberries with fabric because there is YET ANOTHER late frost warning.  Spring came so fast this year that all of our strawberries are flowering and we are having cold nights again.  This has become routine the past couple of weeks, so many late frosts! It was a last minute scramble, but I think all of the chametz (non-Kosher for Passover food) is out of the house and dinner is ready.  We are …

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Passover Countdown

We are only 10 days from the first night of Passover and once again I am realizing that my house will not be cleaned to my images of Passover perfection. I love the idea of a very deep, full house spring cleaning where any trace of chametz – both literal like cracker crumbs under car seats and figurative like the clutter that rises and puffs on surfaces and in closets—is removed.  While it is a wonderful idea that your entire home could be perfectly clean in time for Passover, I never seem to pull it off. In part it is …

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