It’s Shabbat Hagadol tomorrow, the last Shabbat before Pesach, so despite the Middle East going to hell in a handbasket, this week’s Good News Friday post is going to concentrate on Pesach news and fun. There’s time enough to worry about the world after Pesach.
Let’s start with that most unfavourite of all pre-Pesach tasks – spring cleaning. You will be happy to learn that even the Kotel gets a thorough cleaning in time for the festival, with the thousands of notes removed for respectful burial:
Workers cleared the Western Wall of thousands of notes Wednesday afternoon ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Led by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Western Wall’s rabbi, the crew painstakingly dug the scraps of paper from the Wall’s crevices before burying the notes in a ceremony.
The notes contain prayers addressed to God from Israelis, visitors, and worshipers worldwide who send their requests from abroad.
Let’s move on to some Pesach fun (h/t Reality) with a cute medley of Pesach songs accompanied by some great dance moves:
From one kind of fun to another, besides the 4 cups of wine that we drink at the Seder, here are ten Passover cocktails to match each one of the 10 plagues. First there is a summary of the halachic dietary requirements for Pesach, and the options for swapping one kind of (non-Pesach) alcohol for a permitted kind. And then we get to the most important bit: (Note: I take no responsibility for the kashrut of the following cocktails. This is up to the readers – or drinkers – themselves). Here’s one sampling:
Plague 1: Blood
Cocktail: Red Nile
The original eye-opener. Great way to start the plagues, perfect for weekend brunch of fresh fruit, coffee, matzoh brie, and Sephardic dried-fruit-and-cumin haroseth.
2 oz potato vodka
4 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 oz Arak
1 tsp white horseradish
6 drops Texas Pete
3 drops Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Cocktail Bitters (no corn syrup)
Carrot stick for garnish
Directions: Fill a burgundy glass with ice. Combine ingredients in dry shaker. Shake until well-mixed, then pour into ice-filled glass. Garnish with 6-inch carrot stick.
Go to the link to get the recipes for the next nine. Le’chaim! 🍷 🍾
And to conclude, here is one very heartwarming piece of real news: the birth of quadruplets in Shaare Zedek Hospital last month:
A set of healthy quadruplets was born at the Shaarei Tzedek medical center from a spontaneous pregnancy. The quads were born during the Purim festival after they had undergone a long journey, as they travelled from Mexico to Israel in their mother’s womb.
The 24-year-old couple married about two years ago and decided to move to the husband’s birthplace in Mexico. The couple did not immediately succeed in getting pregnant but now have four healthy children.
The babies, two boys and two girls, were born by caesarean delivery in the 33rd week of pregnancy and weighed 1.5 kg on average.
“Cases of spontaneous birth of quadruplets are very rare,” said Professor Arnon Samuelov, the head of the maternity department in Shaarei Tzedek and the doctor who performed the operation. “Even in extra-uterine pregnancies such births are uncommon.”
The happy mother described her shock at hearing about the unusual pregnancy: “In the two years that we did not succeed in getting pregnant I felt that we should go back to the land of Israel and the moment I found that I had a multiple pregnancy I knew it was time to return. I am grateful that we have come back and that the children were born in Israel.”
Multiple births are not unknown to the family as the grandmother of the babies had herself given birth to triplets, but the couple still cannot believe that after the two-year wait they have four healthy children.
What a marvellous story! It brings to mind the womenfolk of the Children of Israel in Egypt who, it is said, gave birth to 6 children at one go. Heartiest mazal tov to the happy (if shocked) parents, and how wonderful that they came to Israel to give birth. May the parents enjoy גידול קל (an easy upbringing) and may the children bring nachat and joy to the entire family.
And now – back to the kitchen for last minute preparations.
I wish you all Shabbat Shalom. May this Shabbat Hagadol usher in the true Geulah (redemption).