Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Two Legendary Greats

Last night during our seder, just as we were pouring the cup of wine that’s supposed to welcome Elijah, someone knocked on the door and we all started. Tell yourself it’s make-believe, but that knock was quite real.

It turned out to be a neighbor wanting information on our lawncare person. He quickly went away upon learning what was going on inside, probably thinking we were doing some sort of weird religious ritual.

The fact that everyone celebrating a seder last night was also welcoming Elijah conjured up in my mind a very real parallel to Santa Claus. Elijah has the same mandate to hit every Jewish house where a seder is in progress that Santa Claus has to visit every Christian house with expectant children on Christmas Eve.

I suppose there is a distinction. Elijah does not come bearing gifts, but instead he is supposed to be ushering in the Messiah when he comes. So perhaps the idea is that he just enters through the door left cracked to drink a sip of wine until the Messianic Age is a reality. Probably not nearly the appeal to Jewish children as a Santa Claus figure who leaves toys behind. Interesting too that Elijah drinks Manishevitz and Santa Claus prefers hot chocolate. At least Elijah got his priorities right on that one.

So with the conclusion of the second seder, Elijah is practically done for this season and can perhaps join Santa Claus for a vacation at the South Pole, which should be nice this time of the year.


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Great post! You can't believe how many seders I've attended during which there's a knock on the door coincidentally happening at the very moment we were welcoming Elijah. You can't plan for little miracles like that.

Elijah must be very close. Please offer him an Argentinian Shiraz or Caliifornia Pinot Noir, eh? When the messianci age arrives, I think Manichevitz wine will disappear - forever - from the earth!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

The Santa who came to my house has been known to nip some Scotch a few times! I'd be opting for the Hot Chocolate...or at the very most, a Spritzer!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous ImaginaryGirl said...

Last year, we did second seder at my house. When we opened the door for Elijah, we found Mormons standing at the door ready to proselitize to us. We were all in hysterics.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Elijah always enjoys Manishevitz at our house (and so does David). But maybe he will be more upscale when he moves on up to the Messianic Age!

MOI -- Elijah is definitely not a Scotch type of guy.

ImaginaryGirl -- Loved the story about the Mormons. They are certainly everywhere these days, so no small surprise they would be upstaging Elijah!

10:40 AM  
Blogger steve said...

My favorite part of "The 10 Commandments" is when Joshua is looking out the door during Passover and the fog of death is creeping through the streets and he announces that 'If anyone would like to see Pestilence, come take a look at this" and Moses says calmly 'Close the door Joshua". Darn right. Close the door, Joshua.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

My favorite scene in the 10 commandments if when Charlton heston and Joshua are coming down with the tablets and they hear the golden cal par-tay ensuing. Joshua says, "Is that the sound of battle?"

Charlton Heston says (so dismissively) "No! It's the sound of merrymaking and revelry!"

He would rather hear the sound of battle than a bunch of people, weary from travel, having a little fun out in the desert.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

That's so cool! I didn't know that about Elijah.

Now I will have to read up on seder.

12:20 PM  

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