Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Commemorations to Kangaroos

Chag Sameach. I assume all of the fellow Yids out there are as sick of Matzah as I am. The good news for me is that my Passover ends before yours does.

Had another action packed weekend with Ghetto commemorations, Kangaroos and some Seders thrown in for good measure.

First, Adi’s gig on Friday night was a huge success. He set up his keyboard at the front of the house and played standards (called such not only because they are from the “Great American Songbook” but also because they are his standard fare when playing such a gig). The owner of the bar gave him 50% more than he’d promised and offered 3 more weeks of work. So tomorrow (Thursday) we return. It’s on a Thursday this week as it’s a 3-day weekend, with Friday being ANZAC day. But I’ll tell you about that next week.

Saturday, April 19, was the annual commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. A nice, light way to spend a Saturday. Adi was the music director of sorts for the Skif kids (Skifitsn) – the youth movement he was in- where all the Central Perk folk are from. His cousin directed the whole thing and they apparently pushed some boundaries, including putting in a hip hop dance that was scrapped by the head Bund adults 4 days before the show. Nevertheless, it was a moving event, complete with poetry in Yiddish, French and English and a few Yiddish songs. The idea is to never forget, and to keep telling the stories of both the Ghetto uprising and the Holocaust to generations that come later. The philosophy behind the hip hop dance was an attempt to reach kids in their own language but the old school members of this “progressive” movement didn’t see it that way. Drama drama drama.

Luckily, that was the peak of drama for the day (well, there was a little drama when our phone wasn't connected..see below) and Seder at Adi’s mum’s house was free of such strife. It was Adi, his brothers, his mum, me and Adi’s grandmother (Adi’s father’s mum, but she wanted to be with her grandchildren so Adi’s mum included her). And 3 main dishes for the 6 of us! I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised when I saw the children’s Haggadah used – and clearly it is a reform Haggadah. I pointed out that it was gender-neutral and no one had ever noticed that before. Adi’s mum fully enjoyed the orange so I wasn’t ex-communicated. And Bubba was on fire, and the daytime event inspired me to suggest recording her stories, the funny and the more harrowing tales of her escape to Russia during the war and how she lost her whole family in Poland.

The only problem I encountered was earlier in the week when I tried to make the Matzah crack using a cookie sheet with no edges and I mis-converted the measurements so I started my second small fire in our house. But the second batch came out much better and was a big hit.

Sunday was a beautiful autumn day and we drove down the coast towards the peninsula (look at a map of Melbourne) to have lunch with Adi’s friend’s Vikki and Nathan. I met Nathan in NYC last Pesach so it was nice to see him again and meet his wife, who is from the UK originally and like me, is expanding the Skif gene pool. After lunch we went on a lovely walk in the bush, overlooking the sea. The highlight was definitely the KANGAROOS we saw at the end of the walk. I was so excited. They are gorgeous creatures and I had to laugh as they hopped around, using their tails for leverage. No one had anything in their pockets but there were some babies grazing near their mum’s.

Our second Seder, Sunday night, was with Adi’s Dad and his sister and her family (one of the sons who was the Ghetto commemoration director) Bubba was there again and even funnier. There was not even a semblance of a Seder here; it was just eating. But fun nevertheless. I did miss both my annual event as well as those in NY, but it wasn’t as full-on Orthodox as I’d feared…at ALL! No Had Gadya or Who Knows 1 but life is change. Maybe next year I’ll have one, though our flat doesn’t really lend itself to many guests!

Photos will have to wait, given that we STILL don’t have internet access, I’m posting this at work so can’t do the whole pic thing. We did finally get a phone on Monday. The guy was supposed to come Saturday, actually, but was in a car accident. We were thinking of accepting the signs and becoming Amish but then it finally happened on Monday. Internet should follow soon, I hope! Till then, enjoy your Matzah and your springtime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

becoming amish!! you got a long way to go baby. you'll be aussie sooner than amish, with all this talk of "mums" and such! and your descriptions of the roos made me really feel like i was there, thank you for that sherylyberly. missing you mucho.