So this year I got to have a completely new set of Pesach experiences. I like to think of it as my year of the Pesach I celebrated two separate ways. First I celebrated in Jerusalem and then returned to the Kibbutz to finish off the holiday. The differences between the two are like night and day...
I arrived in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon and went straight to my friend Lyle's place to pick up the keys to the apartment I was to be staying at. A BIG thanks goes out to Jill for letting Brett and I stay at her place. After arriving at Jill's I headed right to the Shuk to buy groceries for the weekend. The Shuk in Jerusalem is a magical place and even more so a few hours before Shabbat. After groceries I bought flowers (for the Pesach table) and headed back 'home.'
Finally after waiting for a few hours Brett showed up in Jerusalem. We went out for dinner for our last chamezt before Pesach. I've got to say that Focaccia is probably the best place we could have done it. I know that its an non-kosher restaurant, but that bread was amazing.
Seder finally came and it was an amazing experience. 14 people sitting around a table and actually discussing the Hagadah. It was a unique and incredible experience. Sure it wasn't exactly like Pseach at home, but it was a great experience. We even chanted Hallel, which is normally omitted from a Reform Seder. I have gotten to know the Hallel because I've spent the past few Seder's with my fraternity brother's and their families. They chant a more traditional Hebrew version of the Seder. Also quite an incredible experience for me.
The Seder started around 8pm right after Shabbat ended. I ended up back 'home' at around 3:30AM. (Its about a 10 minute walk.) That's something that generally doesn't happen at my family's seder. It was nice to be at a Seder that actually went until the morning. No we didn't make it to the morning Shema, but we were awfuly close. Overall a great experience!
NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM, AGAIN!!