It is spring break and the campus looks empty. Most of the people have left and it is starting to get hot. It is Pesach, which is the most famous holiday in the Jewish calendar. Pesach, or Passover, is a commemoration of the Jew’s liberation by God from slavery in Egypt, and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, as described in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
The holiday lasts eight days; this year, it started on Friday the 22nd of April and ended on Friday 29th of April.
On the first day of Pesach, I had the opportunity to have dinner, or “The Seder”, with an amazing host family in Herzliya. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know more about the culture and especially about this Jewish holiday. A Seder is an elaborate meal that takes place on this first night(s) of Pesach. It is a tradition that family and friends get together to celebrate. During this dinner there is a ritual or ceremony, which is laid out in the Haggaddah, a book that contains the 15 steps performed in its traditional order.
The great host family, which is composed of, actually, two families, were very kind and brought me two Haggaddahs, in Spanish and English, in order to understand, which was so nice! When we finished the ritual, we ate a variety of the Israeli cuisine which was delicious.
We finished dinner and continued talking about this holiday, the customs and they were curious about my experience in this country so far, how I communicate with my family being in the other side of the world and some jokes and smiles.
After this awesome experience I realized that even though we have studies, homework and other commitments, we should not forget to enjoy and to have curiosity about these moments and small details which are an important part of the experience of living abroad. It is necessary sometimes to go out and see how lucky we are to be here, to reflect about what we are doing and about our experience here, and to live to the fullest these amazing moments which bring us a cultural exchange and great memories, which will be always in our hearts.
Thanks to everyone who took part in this great experience!
Author: Danilo Angulo Molina
Editor: Shy Zvouloun