Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peysekh in Shpikov

We return this week to Evgeniia Krasner from Shpikov, Ukraine, as she describes Peysekh (Passover) preparations and practices. For Evgeniia, as for many other Jews from the region, Peysekh was a particularly important holiday. In Soviet times, while public displays of Jewish observance were heavily discouraged by state authorities, many Jews held on to the traditions of Passover, such as clandestinely baking and eating matzah. More than most other Jewish practices, Peysekh customs persisted among Soviet Jews, in part because of the symbolic content of the holiday's message of national liberation, and because of the memory of participation in the Seyder as children.

Evgeniia mentions how her father would read the Agude (Haggadah), and she would ask the Four Questions -- in the clip, she begins reciting the first one, about the difference between eating khomets (chametz) and matzah. Going in reverse chronological order, Evgeniia then describes the preparations that went on before the holiday, first bedikes khomets and biur khomets (searching for remaining crumbs of bread and then burning them), and then the kashering (making kosher) of pots for Peysekh using a hot stone.

More clips about Peysekh in the Soviet Union

A koshern Peysekh aykh!

--Asya Vaisman and Seb Schulman

Note: Next week's post will appear one day late, on Thursday, to accommodate the Passover holiday.

1 comment:

  1. I would like so totally subscribe to the Evgenia channel: All Evgenia, All the Time.