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Happy Ramadan, Happy Passover, Happy Easter

Today is good Friday and we're in the midst of Passover and also the month of Ramadan.


drawing of a happy table set for tea

I like to remember my first seder, when my friend, Linda, invited me to visit her parents in Florida to celebrate Passover, a holiday I didn’t know much about.


Her mother taught me to make gefilte fish and motzoh balls and how to set the table with the seder plate, and glasses of wine and a place set for Elijah. We had fun cooking together.


drawing of a stove cooking a nice meal

Then we all sat down and began. We opened the Haggadah;


(The Haggadah is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder. Reading the Haggadah at the Seder table is a fulfillment of the mitzvah to each Jew to "tell your children" the story from the Book of Exodus about Yahweh bringing the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. As it is written in the Torah, ("And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.").


When we began to read the old Sunday School stories came back to me.

You see, Pharaoh, a wicked king, had a dream that a great leader was about to be born of his slaves, the Israelites, who would lead his people out of captivity. So Pharaoh commanded that all first born sons of Jewish families should be killed. One mother, named Yocheved, saved her baby son by putting him in a basket and floating him down the river. Miriam, the baby's big sister, watched over the basket from the river's edge. Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe, found the baby in the bulrushes and decided to raise him herself. But princesses don't change diapers and Miriam knew it so she spoke up. "I know someone who can take care of him for you." And so the little boy grew up in his mother's arms, under the protection of Pharaoh’s daughter, who took him as her son and named him Moses. Let’s hear it for the big sister. Moses grew up in luxury but noticed how cruelly the Egyptians treated their slaves, so he went to live with his own people, the Israelites. One day when he was out walking he saw a bush that was on fire but it didn’t burn up, and the Angel of the Lord appeared out of the flames and then God told Moses that he must save his people and lead them out of Egypt into Canaan, a land of milk and honey. There’s a great song about this;“Go down Moses, way down in Egypt Land, Tell old Pharaoh, Let my people go.” Moses said, “Who, me? I can’t do that,” and God said, “Sure you can, I’ll help you.” It took some convincing, because Moses, who had a stutter, was not confident about his speaking skills but God told him to take his younger brother, Aaron, who was a strong speaker, with him.

And let's hear it for little brothers! Moses said. “Okay I'll do it.” So he went to Pharaoh and said, “Let my people go.” Pharaoh said no. God had taught Moses how to turn a staff into a snake and back again and Pharaoh was impressed but he still said no so God sent the plagues. Locusts, blood, boils, drought, frogs, hail. The worst was that every first born son of Egypt would die, but God told the Israelites to make a sacrifice of a lamb and put the blood on their door frame, and the Angel of Death would know to pass over their house. And that’s Passover. Then Pharaoh said, “Okay, go,” and Moses and his people got up and left, taking only unleavened bread because there was no time to let the yeast rise. That's why we avoid leavened bread and only eat Motzoh for Passover.

Pharaoh changed his mind and sent an army after them but God parted the Red Sea, the Israelites crossed in safety and then the water came back and drowned Pharaoh’s army. Then the people spent forty years in the desert, and Moses went up on a mountaintop and God gave him the Ten Commandments and eventually they got to the Jordan River. It’s an awesome story and it belongs to all of us. For me it resonates with the American Revolution, the Civil War, the civil rights movement. It’s all about the quest for freedom and the rights of all people to be free. Jesus was celebrating Passover at the Last Supper, when he told his friends, this is my body…do this in remembrance of me,” the beginning our own ritual of communion. I was overwhelmed. Linda’s Mom said, “So, you gonna convert?” Before I had an answer Linda’s father said, "You don’t need to convert, or even join Jews for Jesus. You just want a wider view of the world and where you fit in it." Well, Exactly. So I’m not choosing between the two faiths of my family. I’m clinging to the things that bring us together. Let us rejoice together in the miracles of Rebirth and Renewal, share our time together, give thanks for what we have and resolve to do what we can to save the earth.

Happy Ramadan, Happy Passover, Happy Easter



Now I have some news.


First, I want to share another Day from the 7 Days show, which will remain up until Sunday April 23.


The Fifth Day

God said, "Let the waters teem with living creatures

and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."


children's drawings of animals

This work is by the children of the church's Sunday School; AnnaBeth, Annabel, Ashton, Brigette, Cameron, Christopher, Henry, Indiana, Ivan, Max, Nicholas, Nolan, Patrick, Violet.


I'm happy to announce that my collage titled "Great Blue" is in an online show sponsored by Dodomu Gallery.

My piece is towards the end so stick with it.


and here's what's on my drawing table.





April 06, 2023

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