Our Elijah was an Afrikaner delivering a traffic ticket

Each Pessah we laugh about the year mother sent four bottles of her mead to a neighbor.

April 7, 2009 10:40
1 minute read.
Our Elijah was an Afrikaner delivering a traffic ticket

seder plate 88 224. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

From the day that mother clasped her hands together and said, "Ay, kinder, do you realize it's only six weeks to Pessah," she transmitted a lovely anticipation of the coming festival. A wooden barrel appeared in which my mother, with the use of hopps, set a delicious quantity of mead brewing for Pessah. Then the tin bath was lifted down for the soaking of glassware and the polishing of the silver began. More exciting was the arrival at our small village near the Bushveld in South Africa of the large, not-to-be-opened-until-THE-DAY box of matza ordered well in advance from Johannesburg. Once the Passover fury of cleaning was accomplished, we'd eat in the garden - anywhere but within our already hametz-free home filled with the special aroma of Pessah - of scrubbed wood, mixed with whiffs of rendering schmaltz, maturing mead, pickling cucumbers, beets and what not. Then came the pleasure of watching mother unlock the Pessah cupboard, revealing our best cups, dinner service, cutlery and kitchenware that would replace - for eight days - the plain and ill-matching utensils in use all year round. Every family I'm sure has its own Passover anecdotes - some special shared memory that remains lodged and part of us. In our family, each Pessah we recall and laugh about the year mother sent four bottles of her mead to a neighbor, who placed the bottles on her windowsill where, heated by the Sun, they blew their corks and smashed the irate woman's window. Or that Seder night in Johannesburg when Elijah's goblet stood filled to the brim, and I, waiting for my father's nod, opened the door to find not Elijah, but a messenger of the court - a young Afrikaner man delivering a traffic summons. Seeing him there sent us into fits of laughter. Go explain that particular ritual in the Haggada to a Gentile! The poor man may still be wondering what those Jews found so hilariously funny about being summoned to court!

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery