Tag Archives: pesach

Adir Hu in a Dutch Jewish advertisement

Dutch people appear to have a fondness with regards to poems. I remember since I was a kid until today that at festivities such as Bar Mitzvah’s, birthday parties, weddings, et cetera, children and adults alike enjoy to recite poems (it probably is not only the Dutch people who share that fondness, but anyhow).

A Dutch company which was trying to promote its wines did exactly that: they created a lovely poem based on the tune of the Adir Hu song which is traditionally sung at the Seder of Pesach.

What is Pesach?
Pesach (Passover) is the yearly festival which starts on 15 Nissan for 7 days (in the diaspora 8 days). Pesach commemorates the freedom of the Jews after they had to endure torture and slavery under the Ancient Egyptians.

In Israel the first night is traditionally celebrated with the Seder (outside Israel it is celebrated the first two nights). The Seder is the festive meal during which the whole family and their guests sit and eat around the table and read and sing from the Hagaddah. The Hagaddah is an ancient book in which the story of the exile out of Egypt is being told. The Hagaddah was created around Talmudic times with some pieces added in later times.

Adir hu
One of the songs in the end of Hagaddah is called Adir Hu which really has nothing to do with Pesach per se. It was also sung in other times of joy. It started to appear in German Haggadoth of the fourteenth

Continue reading Adir Hu in a Dutch Jewish advertisement

A Jewish man was waiting in line to be knighted

A Jewish man was waiting in line to be knighted by the Queen of England. He was supposed to kneel and recite a sentence in Latin. Comes his turn, he kneels, the Queen taps him on the shoulders with the sword … and in the panic of excitement he forgets the Latin line. Thinking quickly, he recites the only other line he knows in a foreign language which he remembers from the Passover Seder:

“Mah nishtana ha-lailah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-leilot.”

The puzzled Queen turns to her adviser and asks,

“Why is this knight different from all other knights?”