On Passover, every family has its own traditions: Singing special songs. Using finger-puppets to act out the Exodus from Egypt. Similarly, different Jewish cultures in different parts of the world have unique and innovative ways to relate the story of Passover–and the meaning of freedom.
In Ethiopia, Jews have a custom of smashing their dishes on Passover to symbolize a clean “break” from the past year. Afghan Jews and some other Sephardic Jews whip each other with green onions during “Dayenu” to symbolize Egyptian slavedrivers. During the American Civil War, when rations were scarce and there were no apples or cinnamon to be found, some soldiers substituted haroset with an actual brick. Luckily, this last tradition didn’t stick.
April 18, 2011