Doron Kipper, filmmaker, had to be in New Orleans during Passover.
We met him through a mutual friend and he asked us how the wi-fi was at our place.
“Mine’s a little spotty,” said Doron, “and I need a solid connection to Skype home for Passover,” a Jewish holiday that’s like Thanksgiving but with about an hour of bonus materials.
Later, we found ourselves digitally transported to a Passover ceremony happening a continent away in a suburb of Los Angeles.
I was able to assemble a Seder plate, the iconic centerpiece of Passover Seder, by buying a Paschal Lamb bone and other must-haves (read: potato kugel) at New Orleans’ Kosher Cajun.
Doron brought an arrangement of colorful sweets…
…a tradition of his family, who also wrote their own version of the Haggadah, the read-aloud instruction manual for the evening. This is pretty cool: my family still uses the 1932 FREE! Haggadah distributed by Maxwell House (apparently, it’s “Good to the last Dayenu”).
When the video feed started, we were a little nervous at how shaky it was — “Can we get some better camera work?” asked Doron in his Passover directorial debut.
After that we were introduced to the family one-by-one, including the pooch.
Here’s us doing the “Ten Plagues,” a Passover favorite in which you recite each of the ten plagues that were visited upon Egypt in order for God to convince Pharaoh to let the Jews go.
After reciting each plague, you remove a bit of your wine as a sort of half-assed, 2,000-years-too-late sympathetic expression to the Egyptians for the afflictions visited upon them (talk about Jewish guilt!).
Doron’s family sent over this photo of how we looked on their end. They put a yarmulke, also known as a Jew cozy, on our live feed. Frickin’ adorable!
After a lot of wine and Passover parody songs (including “Take Me Out to the Seder” to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and my favorite which parodies “The Ballad of Jed Clampett“), the evening came to a successful close.
In the morning, I made the traditional matzoh brie and…
…performed the after-morning ritual of licking my plate.
As they say in New Orleans, “Shalom, y’all!”