As the holiday of Passover nears, I like to think back on all the seders that we’ve shared together as a family. I always come back to one particular seder a few years ago that was by far the best and most memorable.

Erez as Moses

The entire family, grandparents, babies and everyone in between, headed into the Negev Desert to a large Bedouin tent next to one of the most beautiful ancient Nabatean cities.

We all played different parts, playing the children of Israel leaving Egypt and walking into the desert towards the Promised Land. In full costume, I played the role of Moses and led My People to Mount Sinai to present them with the Ten Commandments.

We crossed the Red Sea (actually a small stream coming from a nearby camel stable), gathering all our bravery to complete the task.

Upon arriving at Mount Sinai, I left my holy flock and climbed to the top. I had a feeling though that something wasn’t quite right. When I returned from my meeting with G-d (I do enjoy some quality alone time on mountain tops), I found that my people were worshipping a new Golden Calf. It was a big pile of mobile phones, the new g-d of the modern man.

The Hagadah that we created for this was night very special as well. It was a compilation of stories we made up for the kids, talking about freedom and liberation as part of the traditional hagadah.

One story described a young Ethiopian on his journey to Israel. Another story featured Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. The most emotional story from the seder, however, was about Willy, a 13-year-old Romanian Jew of the day of liberation from Auschwitz.
Towards the end of the evening, we revealed to the children that the story of 13-year-old Willy was a true one, that of Grandpa Willy who was sitting with us that evening.

The younger families stayed overnight in the tent while the old among us received special permission to use rooms that the camp maintains for tourists.

The following morning, we (the children of Israel) went for walks and camel rides around the camp before piling in our cars to return home.

It may not have been 40 years of wondering in the desert but it was an incredibly powerful experience that we shared, and an amazing way to bring the story of Passover to our modern lives. It was also nice to have a hot shower after 2 days in the desert.

On that note, a very very happy Passover to all of our family, friends and fans!

2 thoughts on “Passover in the Desert

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