Sunday, April 04, 2010

Obama Celebrates Passover at White House

At right: Official White House photo of the 2009 Seder.

As I've argued in several posts on this blog, Passover is part of a Judaic culture of death. Well, late last month the New York Times reported on "the story of the Obama Seder, now one of the newest, most intimate and least likely of White House traditions." One wonders how unlikely it is that Obama--the "first Jewish president"--would hold a Passover seder in the White House.

According to the Times, Obama's been celebrating them at least since 2008. That seder took place "at the bleakest point of the campaign, the long prelude to the Pennsylvania primary, which was dominated by a furor over Mr. Obama's former pastor" i. e. the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an anti-Zionist and liberation theologian who Obama betrayed.

The Times also reports:
When Passover begins at sunset on Monday evening, Mr. Obama and about 20 others will gather for a ritual that neither the rabbinic sages nor the founding fathers would recognize.

In the Old Family Dining Room, under sparkling chandeliers and portraits of former first ladies, the mostly Jewish and African-American guests will recite prayers and retell the biblical story of slavery and liberation, ending with the traditional declaration "Next year in Jerusalem." (Never mind the current chill in the administration’s relationship with Israel.)

Top aides like [Senior Advisor to the President] David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett will attend, but so will assistants like 24-year-old Herbie Ziskend.
I guess White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Lee "Rosy" Rosenberg, who served on Obama's national campaign finance committee and is now the new president of American Israel Public Affairs Committee, celebrated Passover at home in Chicago.

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