Here's the last post related to Pesach:
I came back to Yeruham on Sunday, the last day of Hol HaMoed. In reality, even though there's way more Hol HaMoed here than in the Diaspora, the close proximity of Shabbat to the last day of Pesach made it seem like a short Hol HaMoed. In the end, I didn't end up feeling that Pesach was all that long.
After having a few hours to chill out before chag started, I went to schul, and then had a dinner with Asaf, Gabe, and Robbie. This came about when Gabe and I hadn't made any other plans so we decided to do something simple. Asaf brought back some BBQ chicken from Ketura, so we ate that. And then I learned to play Settlers of Catan, currently the most popular game on Nativ. Wasn't that addicting for me; in fact, I haven't played since.
I made it to schul in the morning, and Tyler joined me. It was a fast davening, and I was very happy that they sit for Shirat HaYam. More than half of the schul left during Yizkor. After services, the husband of the CEO of Atid BaMidbar invited us to lunch. They were very hospitable and served us great food, especially the chicken. Tyler learned to juggle. We were very glad we got that invitation. When I got home, I went to the park to read for a bit, and shortly after Ally, Miri, Becky, and a girl in Becky's host family came to the park, too, so I hung out with them. We eventually went back to their apartment to play Bananagrams. I think I took a nap after, but I woke up to make Matzah Pizza – the second and last time I had it. Shortly after came Mincha, Ma'ariv, and Pesach was over.
At the end of chag, I participated in Mimuna – a Moroccan custom that accompanies the end of Pesach. The explanations I've heard is that the first chametz to be eaten should be sweet. The name "mimuna" could come from the Rambam's father, Maimon, whose yartzheit falls at this time, or also from "emuna," faith, that we have faith that Mashiach will come next year even though it didn't come at Pesach this year. Several families have open houses, and people come and eat mufletas – it's like fried dough and you put things like chocolate spread, honey, etc. inside. It was really good. We had a nice time bouncing around, and then we ended up at one house where I knew a bunch of kids from the high school as well as my host family. They drove us home, at which point I finished watching the Braves kill the Cubs.
Pesach definitely felt shorter this year, having been only seven days and a short Hol HaMoed. It was a good chill opportunity, and I'm happy with the way I spent vacation. While I was sad that I wasn't at Ramah Darom for Pesach this year, I enjoyed celebrating Pesach in the Holy Land, observing how Israelis observe Pesach, and with God's help we will celebrate every Pesach to come in Jerusalem.