On Monday 21st May, staff from the St Philip's Centre facilitated a session comparing and contrasting the points of contact and contrast between Jewish celebrations of Pesach (Passover) and Christian celebrations of Easter. Denise Bergman from the Jewish community shared with the congregation of St Peter's Whetstone about how Pesach is celebrated, including offering those present horseradish to try (which most did) and encouraging everyone to sing Pesach songs, which everyone did.

She also shared a story of how she bought a Pesach Haggadah in a remote village in Canada. Most of the books sold in the shop were Christian, but there were a few from other faiths, including Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. The shop owner explained the philosophy behind a Christian bookshop selling books of other faiths as being a way of encouraging people in that rural area to learn about the wider world and be encouraged to live well together, something we at the St Philip's Centre would wholeheartedly endorse.

If you want to get a flavour of our evening, you might like to try singing this to the tune of "She'll be coming round the mountain"

Now Moses' mother hid for a while 
Then she built a box and hid him in the Nile
Pharoah's daughter came and saw him
Told her servants to withdraw him
Looked upon him and then broke into a smile.

She said "I really do believe my luck is in,
The things one can discover on a swim,
Just wait till I tell Daddy that I've found a little laddy.
We'll take him in and make a prince of him."

One summer's day he took a walk as planned,
Saw Egyptian beating Hebrew whip in hand.
So he killed the cruel taskmaster and to avoid disaster
He quickly hid the body in the sand.

Saying "Pharoah will be furious when he hears
In retrospect I now am filled with fear.
Pharoah don't like martyrs - he'll have my guts for garters."
So he fled and stayed away for forty years.

From a burning bush God said to Moses "Hey!
Go tell Pharoah that the Israelites won't stay.
They don't like his hospitality or racialist mentality.
On Pesach night they'll all be on their way."

To the Red Sea Pharoah chased them where he found
That the Israelites had crossed on solid ground
And they were not downhearted for they found the sea had parted - 
It was Pharoah's army following that drowned.

So the Israelites were saved from further flight 
And marched off till Mount Sinai came in sight.
Their slavery had ended Moses to the top ascended.
The Israelites sang out with all their might:

"He'll be coming down the mountain by and by.
He'll be holding ten commandments up on high. 
And we'll not be slaves no morer 'cos we're going to have the Torah.
Singing: Ay yi yippee, yippee yi!"

Singing: Ay yi yippee, yippee yi!
Singing: Ay yi yippee, yippee yi!
And we'll not be slaves no morer 'cos we're going to have the Torah.
Singing: Ay yi yippee, yippee yi!