His Mercy Endures forever. Mercy: A Picture of the Passover.

Where do I even start?

This past weekend was so refreshing. So much has happened. Between Friday’s Holy Day, Shabbat Passover and Sunday’s Services, it was surprisingly relaxing and refreshing.

One of my New Year Resolutions is to read the Bible through by the time the years end arrives. Since reading through and finishing the Torah (so far.. I’m in 1 Kings now!), I have done a small amount of research on Jewish history, cultures, and festivals. So I was thrilled when Passover was approaching and contacted a friend several months ago to ask if they wanted to attend a Passover Dinner with me.

Who’s Jewish? Who will cook Kosher? Where? they asked.

Jesus is Jewish, I will cook, and at your house.

I essentially invited people to someone else’s house to eat cooked dinner for a Passover when I’ve never cooked Kosher before. 

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I woke up early Friday morning and almost forgot. I almost forgot it was a holy day because all week had been terrible and I was very ambivalent about the task of cooking before me. I wondered if anyone was actually coming since we had talked about the plan without finalizing it the day of. I was excited to have the day off and excited that I got sleep. It took until 10:00am that morning, but we finalized the plan, a time, a place (of course)… and I picked up where I left off on my research and started to compile a list of foods to purchase at the food store. I got most of my list from here.

  • Horseradish, grounded and root.
  • A dozen eggs
  • Apples
  • Kosher sparkling grape-juice (it really calls for wine, but who can pray with a straight face after 4 glasses of wine in one meal?… my face would be numb by then).
  • Matzah (unleavened bread)
  • Matzah balls
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Kosher candles

I felt overwhelmed, but.. finally… excited. My friend Phil text me and asked if he could cook me lunch, because he is both kind-hearted and awesome. When I told him I was busy cooking for passover that evening, he jumped right in to help me! What a blessing it is to have friends around me that care.

We made 3 Dishes- along with 12 boiled eggs (I’ve never boiled eggs in my life before.)

photo 1

This was the beginning of my Carrot Tzimmes! I substituted the prunes for dates that I pitted myself. I just thought it would taste better.

CARROT TZIMMES – Serves 8
12 carrots, peeled
Pinch of nutmeg
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons margarine
10 pitted prunes
2 ounces honey
2 – 3-ounce cans of orange juice

Cut carrots into 1/2-inch slices. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices. Boil until tender—not soft—about 9 minutes. Arrange evenly in a casserole dish with other ingredients. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake another 8 to 10 minutes. (Do not overcook.) Serves 6 to 8.

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And of course, what would Passover be without a Matzo-ball soup? I must admit, I used the recipe they gave me as a guide. Rather than cooking it on the stove and chilling it over night (which is probably far more kosher…) I cooked it in a crockpot and added the matzah balls last minute. I definitely use recipes as suggestions….

CHICKEN SOUP – Serves 8
4-5 lbs. chicken backs and necks, or 1 large chicken
1 small bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
2 sprigs parsley
3 qts cold water
1 carrot sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery and tops

If using whole chicken, cut chicken into pieces. Place in large soup kettle with cold water. Cover and bring slowly to boil. Add the seasonings and vegetables. Simmer gently for about 4 hours. Skim off the top as needed. Strain soup and chill overnight. Remove the solidified fat. (This fat may then be used in the other recipes; e.g., stuffing, matzah balls, etc.) Reheat and add matzah balls when ready to serve. This makes about 2 quarts of soup (8 servings). Serving size: 1 cup.

I did not use an entire chicken, I used three chicken breasts instead.

photo 5

What is life without Daffodils?

I also made Charoset, required for Passover Dinner:

CHAROSET – Serves 20-24
4 apples
1 cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons apple juice

Core apples and grate. Chop nuts and add to apples. With a wooden spoon stir in the cinnamon, honey and apple juice. This apple mixture is supposed to turn brown.

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The feast opened quite unexpectedly with tons of laughter. After being so serious all day, the look of laughter was so refreshing! We laughed and cut up. I got many questions from my fellow friends- At times, It was like dining with 5 year olds What’s that for? Why is it bitter? What’s with the parsley? a potato? What’s the stuff in the soup? FOUR glasses of wine- I mean sparkling grape juice?!

Excitement filled the air, and soon, I turned into one of them! SIX Grown five year old women at the table, laughing our heads off around a jewish feast- like our Lord 2,000 years ago.

I think Jesus is the King of Laughter. 

As laughter died down we said the opening blessing to the lighting of the candles.

I followed the sweetest guide ever- a shortened AND english version of Haggadah. I don’t yet know Yiddish or Hebrew!

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My favorite moments included questions. Silent giggles. passing of bitter herbs, parsley, matzah, sparkling grape juice and the oohing and aahing that we have to drink four glasses throughout the meal.

We read through prayers. We agreed with each other. The whispers of amens throughout the sacred meal, a holy room, not that much different from Our Lord’s upstairs room he dined in before His death, our voices vibrated to the heavens to our Sacred and Holy Adonai. The feeling of Laughter, Freedom, Liberation, and Grace filled the air. Grace upon grace.

Who rescued us from Egypt with an outstretched hand and mighty arm?

Only our Adonai. Only our Adonai. Sweet, Strong Adonai. 

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We are His, He is Ours. We are His people and God is our God.

Through each course, we prayed, petitioned, proclaimed…

hallelujahs echoed off our our lips and into the heart of God. 

Sacred.

And we discussed what would have happened… if He hadn’t rescued us. What would have happened to our Hearts? What would have happened if he hadn’t given not only the israelites but US the provisions that He has?

Dayenu, my friends! If he had rescued us from our sin, from our Egypt, from our slavery and not given us His provision, Dayenu: it would have been enough for us.

Dayenu
Hebrew Version:
Ilu ho-tsi, ho-tsi-a-nu,
Ho-tsi-anu mi-Mitz-ra-yim
Ho-tsi-anu mi-Mitz-ra-yim
Da-ye-nu
Chorus
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-ye-nu Da-ye-nu

English Version:
If God would’ve taken us out of Egypt and not executed judgment upon them,
 it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve executed judgment upon them and not upon their idols,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve judged their idols, and not killed their firstborn,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve killed their firstborn, and not given us their wealth,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve given us their wealth, and not split the sea for us,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve split the sea for us, and not let us through it on dry land,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve let us through it on dry land, and not drowned our enemies in it,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.
If He would’ve drowned our enemies in it, and not provided for our needs in the desert for 40 years,
it would’ve been enough for us–Dayenu.

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Did I mention that Elijah Showed up?

He did. We had an empty glass for him and filled it for him. He was, indeed, among our giggles and one of our honored guests. I can imagine him grinning with us.

Our Lord was more present than Elijah though. As we filled the empty glass that sat on the table for nearly 2 hours, He filled our hearts with hope, peace, joy. Radiating.

Elijah has come. John the Baptist has paved the way. Jesus has descended into the form of a man, and ascended. We are free.

We are free!!

We ended the night with a prayer.
We conclude the official part of the Seder with a final prayer asking God to bring the Messianic Era, when all of us will be gathered to Jerusalem as all humankind dwells in peace. We have finished the passover Seder according to its precepts and customs. 

A holy, hushed silence fell in the room as we looked around. We, too, are waiting for the Messianic Period of Time. When He, Jesus, comes back on a white horse with a tattoo on his right thigh and proclaims His name throughout all the earth. When every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. When every language, every spoken, signed, whispered, and shouted all proclaim that He is Lord… for God’s glory.

Sacred words spilled from our hearts in the form of laughter that bubbled up to heaven. To our Adonai.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city. The New Jerusalem… Coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21. 

We, my friends, are going to be joined with Jesus in the New Jerusalem and become His bride. I cannot wait. 

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Driving home, I pondered the motives in my heart and reflected. I reflected on whether I was so serious throughout the day and night that my ability to have Mary’s listening and pliable heart had turned hard to a Martha Heart (Luke 10:38-42). I worried about my Martha heart. Was it present? Did I undo what the Lord could do through my hardness and business? I worried about how I rushed around at first instead of enjoyed. How when childhood-like laughter echoed the walls on such a gorgeous house, my mouth curled into a soft smile as I contemplated the prayers ahead instead of relishing the moment. I nearly regretted my seriousness and became angry with myself. Nearly. Just nearly.

nearly judged myself so harshly into a shame and guilt cycle that I often find myself in… until I felt within my heart the joyful voices and laughter of my sweet, sweet friends responding to the “Call and Response” prayers of Psalm 135, recalling the Lord’s great Mercy…that we lifted up to the Lord our God YHWH! Adonai! If my hard heart can undo the Lord’s mighty hand and outstretched arm, then I must not believe in His power. I recalled our call and response exercise of Psalm 135. I recalled their joy, my joy, our hearts becoming ONE in Him. Like a unity of marriage.

My friends, the reciting of this scripture was as close to the New Jerusalem as I have come. 

I started, my voice feeling frail, a smile curled upon my lips, hoping to hear their voices in response to the Call of our Lord.

O, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good his mercy endures forever! 

I demonstrated it for them and encouraged them to follow along, a call and response anthem to the Lord our God. Adonai. They joined in gleefully!

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods, for His mercy endures for ever.

O give thanks unto the Lord of lords, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him who alone doeth great wonders, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him that by understanding made the heavens, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him that spread forth the earth above the waters, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him that made great lights, for His mercy endures for ever

The sun to rule by day, for His mercy endures for ever;

The moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endures for ever. 

To Him that smote Egypt in their first-born, for His mercy endures for ever;

And brought out Israel from among them, for His mercy endures for ever;

With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him who divided the Red Sea in sunder, for His mercy endures for ever;

And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, for His mercy endures for ever;

But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him that led His people through the wilderness, for His mercy endures for ever.

To Him that smote great kings; for His mercy endures for ever;

And slew mighty kings, for His mercy endures for ever.

(like) Sihon king of the Amorites, for His mercy endures for ever;

And Og king of Bashan, for His mercy endures for ever;

And gave their land for a heritage, for His mercy endures for ever;

Even a heritage unto Israel His servant, for His mercy endures for ever.

Who remembered us in our low estate, for His mercy endures for ever;

And hath delivered us from our adversaries, for His mercy endures for ever.

Who giveth food to all flesh, for His mercy endures for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven, for His mercy endures for ever.

And with each line, with each phrase, with each “His Mercy Endures forever”… the voices of my sweet friends grew stronger, His laughter bubbled up within them, smiles spread from our hearts to our faces, and up to Him. Smiles like Music to the Lord. Their voices were of one accord. All together. Strengthened by His mercy. The resounding beauty of His mercy- a song that never grows old because….

Even in my heart, as I drove away almost regretting my Martha heart… His mercy endures within me… forever.

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About scarmich

A girl in her 20's looking at love, life, and laughter in the mundane.

3 responses to “His Mercy Endures forever. Mercy: A Picture of the Passover.

  1. Mom

    Thank you for sharing every detail of this evening! I actually, felt like I was there participating! What a beautiful way to commemorate the Greatest sacrifice ever made! He is Risen!

  2. Pingback: Museum Time- Adventure of the Week! | I am Sara, See me RAWR!

  3. Pingback: Month Madness Mania: April 2015 Edition | I am Sara, See me RAWR!

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