Sunday, May 20, 2007

Plastic Hyssop and the Red Jello

We had four Mennonite guests on Friday night again, and one told a very strange story.

We keep getting Mennonites, because a Mennonite tour organizer is a colleague of my wife's. These are visitors/pilgrims who want to learn about Judaism to strengthen their practice, so they visit Israel and spend a meal with a religious family for shabbat. That's us.

Ordinarily we have very safe and pleasant exchanges. The guests are told a little beforehand about what the rituals are like and cautioned against bringing up topics that will offend their hosts (such as "Why don't you believe in Jesus?" and so on).

One of our visitors Friday night told us about the time she finally worked up to trying out a Passover seder. Again, in the theory that practicing Jewish tradition will give insight into their own spiritual practice.

Only, this guest had no experience in practicing a seder, nor anyone who she could really turn to with experience. The only guide she had was an "adapted" Haggadah from Jews for Jesus, and a determined will.

Among the other stories she related about this event, was her attempt to reenact the first Exodus with her family.

Before dressing themselves in robes, with staves and packs, she decided that they needed to adorn their lintels with the blood of the Paschal lamb. Unfortunately, no lambs were available, or none willing to be slaughtered in her backyard, I suppose. Also, she didn't have any hyssop to brush the blood with.

So she bought some green plastic frond-like things to use for hyssop. Now what to do for blood? Ah, of course. Red Jello.

She waited for the Jello (she didn't say if it was Strawberry or Cherry) to be half thickened. In deference to not wanting to make any permanent stains, her husband covered the lintels with plastic sheeting first. Then she gooped the Jello all over the doorway, using the plastic fronds.

And so they marched around their front yard, red Jello dripping down her doorway, all the passing cars slowing down to stare in curiosity at the strange procession.

The story continued along these lines for some time.

Games Played

Unbelievably, my 14 year-old daughter didn't know how to play Chess, so I insisted that we play a game. Actually, she knew some of the rules, and she didn't really want to play, so she resigned after I took her rook.

We then played four games of The Menorah Game, with two victories each.

Later in the afternoon, Nadine dropped by for a game of Puerto Rico. Rachel was first, me second, and Nadine last.

I made a poor choice at the beginning to go for extra victory point at the expense of cash, and that hurt me for the rest of the game. I was intending to take Factory next, but Nadine and Rachel both took it before I could build back up again. Rachel took an early Hospice, and even with our slight tweak to the building, it also set her back a round or two.

Meanwhile, Nadine had an early coffee monopoly and played straight and solid. She took the victory at 65 points to Rachel's 56, and my 46.

Paid Reviews

I will be doing at least one "paid" review very soon now. Of course, I will only review something that is related to my site's interest, I will preface the post as a paid review, and I will be as honest as possible - these reviews work through third parties, and they supposedly don't care if I write good or bad reviews, so long as I review it.

Why? Cash, mostly. Also, as I said, the content is relevant. I've already turned down about five or six offers for sites that weren't relevant. Also, I will only be doing a few of these, likely, probably less than one post out of a hundred, if that.

If you have opinions about this, do comment.



Gerald McD said...

You lead a very interesting life.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

I do, don't I? I'm sure you do, too, Gerald.


Gerald McD said...

Actually, my life is very laid-back and slow-paced, but busy with things I like to do (retirement is better than advertised). My wife and I live a very average American life -- spending time with our kids and grandkids, pursing our hobbies, taking care of our house, and doing a little traveling now and then. What could be better?