Thursday, April 12, 2012

Passover Games

Gut-moed! (Happy intermediate days of Passover!) This week was chol hamoed of Passover, the "profane" days of the festival, when some of the usual restrictions of holy days are relaxed but not entirely lifted. In Eastern Europe, children would often play games on the holiday, such as the one described by Duvid (David) Vider, interviewed in Kolomyya in 2003.

Because Jewish children in Eastern Europe could often not afford elaborate toys, they would invent games that required only everyday items as props, such as nuts (often walnuts). This game used eight nuts, equivalent to the eight days of Passover and of Sukkoth, the other occasion when the game was played. 

Duvid Vider was born in 1922 in Sighetu Marmatiei (in present-day Romania). He received a traditional religious education in a yeshiva in Iasi, Romania. 

For more of Duvid Vider, see Professor Dov-Ber Kerler's blog post in Yiddish about Vider's rendition of this Passover song.

--Asya Vaisman

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