Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Passover!

Passover began after sundown on Wednesday, April 8. It's an 8-day holiday celebrating our freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt, and is usually begun with a ritual meal called the Seder. Symbolic foods are placed on the Seder table, prayers are recited, songs are sung, and the story of the Exodus is told. This is a holiday that's celebrated in the home, not the temple, but many congregations, mine included, have community Seders. We've progressed in 10 years from doing all the cooking ourselves to having a fantastic gourmet buffet at a country inn. This year we numbered 70...members, family, friends, and members of the larger community who saw our ad in the paper and wanted to join with us.

In an exchange of emails about what we needed to bring, the rabbi asked me if we had a matzo cover (a stack of matzo, unleavened bread, is at the center of the Seder table and should be covered until time to say the blessing over it. Matzo covers are one of those utilitarian linens that can be turned into works of art.)

Um, no, we don't have a matzo cover but i could make one.... So Wednesday morning i made a quick but functional matzo cover, from a fancy (prewashed, unused) cotton dish towel trimmed into a square and hemmed, with the Hebrew letters for Pesach (Passover) cut out of gold dupioni silk and fused on, then stitched down, the Seven Species of plants stamped in gold on a piece of blue fabric and sewn to the middle, plus a group of three pomegranates stamped in gold on a piece of gold for each corner.


  1. The Seder sounds great! And how lovely to have it in a an Inn! Loved the description of the matzo cover - it's really beautiful and interesting to read about the symbolism you've stitched on it...Will you celebrate on Easter day too Paula? We ususally have fish for dinner on Good Friday (I'm not sure why I'll find out) and then a big family meal on Easter Sunday, roast lamb or chicken type of thing.

  2. Very nice, I love the story of Passover. When our kids were little they LOVED the part about the plagues! We nearly always celebrate with friends, but this year we missed it. Maybe some night soon we'll revisit the story and cook a few of our favorite dishes. Thanks for sharing, Quiltcat!

  3. Thank you for the explanation! I was going to google the matzo cover just to educate myself.

  4. Hi Liz. I don't celebrate Easter. friend April is having a big Easter dinner for her husband, son, visiting daughter and boyfriend, and invited me, so i'll be going to that!