Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Passover

To all my readers who celebrate the Jewish holiday Passover, I want to take this time to wish you and yours a Happy Pesach.

While this blog post comes a few days late from the start of the holiday, which began earlier this week, I figured better late than never. And, since this holiday is a celebration for eight days I was still within the time frame to share this special message with you.

Remembering back to my childhood my parents did all the work to create the holidays and memories of this important time in Jewish history. They educated us on the rituals, special foods and symbols to signify the holiday to help us best understand and appreciate what our ancestors suffered and risked to help achieve the freedom we now have today.

It's been interesting experiencing the holidays as a parent especially of a young child. The first couple of years of Sarah's life she was too young to understand the rituals and rights of passage. It was only last year that she just about understood what it meant to find the Afikomen (the broken Matzo that gets hidden for children to find -- like a scavenger hunt). But, for a 3-year-old, that's about it.

So as not to turn this blog post into a history lesson, I will steer in a different direction.

Being a parent the torch has been passed on to my husband and I to help educate and raise Sarah to our best ability to help her understand Jewish history and importance of what has transpired over time, as well as what was sacrificed to get us here today.

As a Jewish person, I love and appreciate my religion, but admit that I am not as well practiced as I would like to be. I won't go through the hundred and one not so great excuses to explain why. However, as a parent I now have a responsibility to provide Sarah the best education I can, with the support of friends and family, to help guide her on the path to better understanding of Jewish history so that she can make informed decisions about what she believes in and to help her to find her spiritual connection.

So, while Sarah is young now, I have been enjoying trying to find ways in a more simplified fashion, such as books explaining the holiday to children and bringing in fun components such as coloring pages of Passover Seders and Matzo, to begin the teachings. In some respects, I am getting the education as well and appreciate experiencing it through Sarah's eyes.

I look forward to the years that lie ahead where Sarah can learn and grow and understand Jewish history as we teach it to her and expose her to in numerous fashions.

Enjoy the journey of education and learning with your children as it is our responsibility as parents to help guide them on a path to religious and spiritual understanding and to give them a sense of belonging. With the tools of learning we help provide and expose our children to only then can they decide what to believe in and gain greater understanding of the higher power beyond us.

Happy Passover to you and yours.

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