Austral seder

Because we were traveling in the northwest of Argentina. we celebrated Passover a week late, when we returned to Buenos Aires.

Annie, Isabel, and our friend Siel (from Belgium) had fun squishing soggy matzos to make the ancestral matzo balls.

We were joined by our friends Brent, Beth, Elena and Nathaniel (known as the ‘pelirojos’ for their dominant hair color), also here on sabbatical from DC, plus Brent’s parents, visiting from Israel, and our local friends Ricardo and Nora.

Ric and Josh were in charge of the grilled meat (asado) for the main course.  The obligatory Passover narrative conflicted with the Argentine imperative that you eat when the meat is ready.  Our asado master, Ric, struggled graciously with this conflict and eventually conceded that we had to eat when the people were ready, rather than the other way around.  It was delicious.

Nora brought a very nice bottle of wine made by her 85-year old father just a few blocks from our home.

The kids acted out the story of the flight from Egypt.  Nathaniel, as baby Moses, floated in a basket on the river.

Reading from the Haggadah, I was once again struck by the northern hemisphere bias that until now I had never even noticed:

“It is spring. The air is growing warmer. The trees are budding.

Flowers are blooming. Pesach is a springtime holiday. The karpas

reminds us of springtime and hope. Sometimes we despair of the evil in

our world. Pesach calls us to hope again.”

I changed the season to fall, but kept the hope part.

The pelirojos introduced us to the game of ‘super egg’ in which the winner of a clash between two hardboiled eggs moves on to the next level; Brent’s egg ultimately prevailed against all comers.

It was, all in all, a festive mixture of traditions from different families, of Argentine and North American foods, and northern and southern seasons.  Oh, and the wine was outstanding.


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