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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Passover story, Twitter-style: Let's get out of here

By Tuesday afternoon, the turkey should be in the oven, the matzah balls simmering in soup, and the apples and walnuts ready to be chopped into a mixture symbolic of the mortar used by Jewish slaves to build the Pharaoh’s cities.
Tuesday evening is the second night of Passover, and I am hosting my side of the family for the seder – the service that takes place at the dinner table as participants recount the Jews’ exodus from Egypt.
Passover specifically refers to God passing over the homes of Jewish families as he brutally punished the Egyptians for their leader’s refusal to free the Jewish slaves. The seder is the retelling of the story of entire Passover story,
beginning with the birth of Moses and ending with the Jews escaping through the parted waters of the Red Sea. And, like many of the Jewish traditions with which I was raised, it’s capped off with a plenty of food.
The basic script for the seder is in a booklet called the Haggadah. Everyone takes turns reading from the book and eating or drinking the food and wine that represent various elements of the story.
My family seders run less than an hour, but the exact length depends on how much is recited in both Hebrew and English, how many verses of the numerous songs are tackled, whether my sister brings out the felt characters of Moses and the gang that enthralled the kids in their younger days, and how cold the turkey is getting.
So I had to laugh last week when a package addressed to me at the newspaper office included two copyrighted Haggadahs. One is titled “60-Minute Seder, complete Passover Haggadah.” The other is “30-Minute Seder, The Haggadah that Blends Brevity with Tradition.”
What next? The story of Passover on Twitter? “God to Moses: You can do it! Moses to Pharoah: Let my people go! Moses to Jews: No time to let the bread to rise; let’s get out of here!”


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