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Pesach in St. Petersburg

Pesach in St. Petersburg – Back in Israel – but so much to still tell you about

So I am back now in Israel, after almost 20 hours of travelling (Rabbi Michael’s house to the train station, the train from St Petersburg to Moscow, a taxi to another train station, a train to the airport, a wait of about three and a half hours in the airport, a four hour plane back to Ben Gurion, and then a taxi back to my flat in Jerusalem – I’m getting tired just writing about it).

There is a lot still to write about, and rather than do it in one single blog, I will try to spread it out over a couple of posts (hopefully posting one a day for the next couple of days).

So I promised you more about the three sedarim on Sunday. The morning began with the religion school at the Synagogue. It has only been running for a few months, but there were over twenty children there, spread across the ages, with some even preparing for bnei mitzvah. I am still blown away by the amount of Jewish life in that city, and the Progressive Synagogue in particular. Rabbi Michael and Olga are doing a truly fantastic job.

The seder was very sweet, and the children really seemed to be enjoying themselves, it was also nice as quite a few parents were also around to take part in bits of the seder. On a personal level, it was also nice that the HUC students (Josh, Julia and David) and Zina returned from their Shabbat in Murmansk, to be involved with the seder.

After that seder it was time for the Moreshet seder, which involved a few youth groups from the city, including some of the students who had attended sedarim at the Shorashim school on our first day. I really enjoyed this seder, but I have to admit that I was completely exhausted by the time it was finished. They were a really good group, and one of the things which I tried was to give everyone a question mark card to allow for questions throughout the seder, it definitely encouraged them to ask questions about a variety of elements of the seder which I had not ever fully considered.

It was then onto the evening and the Netzer seder, I thought that I was going to collapse, but somehow I got another wind, and it proved to be a really enjoyable evening. The young adult community is so enthusiastic about their Judaism, and so curious, that there was no shortage of questions for Rabbi Michael, and us to answer during the seder.

One of the things which we did was the Pesach Pub Quiz, in place of the Magid section, so here are a selection of some of the questions so that you too can take part:

The Numbers Round:
1 How many days are there in the Omer?
2 How many years were the Jews in the wilderness?
3 How many Books of Torah are there?
4 How old was Sarah when she died?
5 At what age was Ishmael circumcised?

The Names Round:
1 What was the name of Jacob’s brother?
Ishmael, Esau, Bilam, Dimitri
2 What was the name of Joseph’s wife?
Osnat, Keturah, Rachel, Sarah
3 Who is the wandering Aramean?
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
4 Who named Moses?
Miriam, Pharaoh’s daughter, Mom, Aaron
5 Who was the First High Priest?
Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Michael Farbman
6 Who was the first into the Red Sea (according to the midrash)?
Samuel, Nachshon, Joshua, Moses,

I will put the answers in the next post.

Until then, Shabbat Shalom,

Danny

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