Spring seems to be running a tad late this year. Things got a little warmer and sunnier about two weeks ago, and everyone got all excited, but not for long. Then we changed the clocks – also exciting. But fast forward to today – it’s the end of March and we’re stuck in a few days of a sort of miserable hybrid of rain and snow, and it is not pleasant. But the weather will turn soon, I’m sure, and even though it’s miserable in Manhattan, there are definitely changes afoot elsewhere.
This past Sunday, we went upstate to visit our friends up at Eden Village Camp in Putnam Valley, we’re they’re well into Spring mode. The event of the day was maple sugar tapping, a traditional end-of-winter activity. We’ve all enjoyed maple syrup many times before, but what a thrill to actually see where it comes from, and how it got into those whimsical little bottles that line supermarket shelves. Having friends in places like Eden gives up the opportunity to live with the seasons and observe nature’s own special timetable.
We all met at Aish Downtown in the East Village, and drove up all the way to Putnam Valley. Our group joined with the other groups who’d come out of the day, and we got to see how it all works. Basically, in cold climates, maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter. The starch is then converted to sugar, which rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks, allowing the sap to come out. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, and you get left with a golden-hued syrup to douse your pancakes with. And that’s just what we did! Thanks for the lovely Sunday, Eden Village Camp!
And of course, we’re only days away from the real opening event of Springtime – Passover! We’re going to be hosting two Passover Seders – one at the Aish Center on 83rd St on the second night, and one at the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, together with JICNY on the first night. The second night Seder is going to be hosted by our good friend and longtime supporter, the aptly-named Ari Moses, together with his wife Shaina and their two children.
“Aish is a great place to experience Judaism for those who have had limited experience in the past,” says Ari. “Passover and the Seder have always been a very enriching and meaningful part of our family’s life and we look forward to sharing this special evening with the Aish community!”
It’ll be a great Seder – complete with props, delicious food, a great crowd and a whole lot of wine and matza. It’s not too late to sign up to join us! Here’s how. Wishing you all a beautiful Passover and a lovely spring!