Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Holidays

With all due respect to his years of Hebrew school, most of what TigerBlog knows about Passover, and for that matter, Easter comes from all the times he's watched "Ben Hur" and "The Ten Commandments."

Also with all due respect, they don't make movies like those anymore.

Have you ever seen them? The common denominators are 1) Charlton Heston as the Jewish hero and 2) length. If you want to watch Charlton Heston as Ben Hur, who makes it all the way back from being a galley slave, and Charlton Heston as Moses, whose story is probably familiar to you, back-to-back, then you need to set aside 432 minutes, which comes to a little more than seven hours.

Of course, they're worth it. They're among the greatest epics in American movie history, done three years apart ("The Ten Commandments" in 1956) and "Ben Hur" in 1959), by William Wyler and Cecil B. DeMile.

They tell the stories of how Moses led TigerBlog's people out of Egypt and how Jesus of Nazareth interacts with Judah Ben-Hur at various times during Judah's rather difficult path from idyllic childhood to ultimately happy adult. In between he saves a Roman Consul and wins a big-time chariot race, in what are two of the greatest scenes ever shot in any movie ever.

This is a big weekend for both, as it's both Good Friday today and the start of Passover at sundown tonight, not to mention Easter on Sunday.

TigerBlog isn't sure how often Passover starts on Good Friday, but the two holidays are very closely linked. The Last Supper, for instance, was actually a Passover Seder.

Speaking of Seders, if you weren't a TB reader back in 2011, you missed this:
Back in the days of a youthful TigerBlog, one of the biggest events of any year was the race to find the Afikoman. 
For those who will be celebrating Easter this weekend, or of any other religion not currently abstaining from bread, the Afikoman is a broken piece of matzoh that is hidden by the leader of the Passover Seder. Eventually, all the children present will have a mad scramble to find the Afikoman, and the winner would be given a small prize.
TigerBlog's assumption is that the prize money he would get in the years he would outwit BrotherBlog and his cousins Paul and Janet is a fraction of the going rate for a successful Afikoman hunt these days.
Passover, which began at sundown last night and runs for eight days, is basically the telling of the story of the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt, led by Moses, who told the Pharaoh to "let my people go."
As for the Seder, the leader leads those assembled through the story of how the Jews came to be enslaved in Egypt, what their life there was like, how Moses eventually got the Pharaoh to allow the Jews to leave after the 10 plagues rained down on Egypt and how the Jews made their way through the desert.
Along the way, there are multiple stops to eat, drink win and hear from the youngest present, who asks the four questions to answer the main question: "Why is this night different from all other nights."TB was always the youngest at the Seder, and the pressure was on him every year.

If you're celebrating one of those holidays this weekend, TigerBlog wishes you all the best. Whatever your faith, this is still a big weekend for Princeton Athletics.

Ivy League Athletics are, after all, a secular institution, and TigerBlog has seen Princeton and the rest of the league play on every major holiday of every religion through the years. 

For this weekend, TigerBlog thinks that 14 Princeton teams will be competing, every spring team except men's golf, who hosts its invitational next weekend. That would leave all four crews, both lacrosse teams, both track and field teams, both tennis teams, baseball, softball, women's golf and men's volleyball.

The complete schedule is HERE.

TigerBlog will be in Providence tomorrow for the men's lacrosse game against Brown. It's a huge one for both teams, neither of whom has a league win yet. Is that a rarity? Even though Princeton has played Brown in its third Ivy game and Brown has played Princeton in its second basically forever, only once in the last 28 seasons (2011) have both teams been winless.

If you're looking for something close to home, there's women's tennis against Penn tomorrow, men's volleyball against George Mason tomorrow, women's open rowing against Columbia and Notre Dame and three baseball games against Cornell, two tomorrow and one Sunday.

There is no charge for any home event his weekend. 

The baseball team is already in need of making up three games against Harvard that got wiped out last weekend. With the new schedule and the postponements a week ago, Princeton and Cornell meet in the Ivy opener for the Tigers this year after finishing the season against each going back about as far as TB can remember.

If you can get out to an event, make sure you do so. And if you're celebrating, enjoy the hoildays.

Today is Good Friday and Passover.

Sunday is Easter.

And, TigerBlog supposes, April Fools' Day, for that matter.

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