fbpx
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Mimouna: The Very Opposite of Social Distancing

As sundown falls on the holiday of Passover, Sephardic Jews everywhere will celebrate the centuries-old tradition of Mimouna.

https://jewishjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/jj_avatar.jpg
David Suissa
David Suissa is President of Tribe Media/Jewish Journal, where he has been writing a weekly column on the Jewish world since 2006. In 2015, he was awarded first prize for "Editorial Excellence" by the American Jewish Press Association. Prior to Tribe Media, David was founder and CEO of Suissa Miller Advertising, a marketing firm named “Agency of the Year” by USA Today. He sold his company in 2006 to devote himself full time to his first passion: Israel and the Jewish world. David was born in Casablanca, Morocco, grew up in Montreal, and now lives in Los Angeles with his five children.

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

On Thursday night, as sundown falls on the holiday of Passover, Sephardic Jews everywhere will celebrate the centuries-old tradition of Mimouna.

This is the night when Jews open their doors to their neighbors, offering lavish sweet tables to bring in a year of sweetness and good fortune.

If there’s a Jewish ritual that calls for maximum social connection, Mimouna is it. As I wrote in a column years ago, “Mimouna represented the love and intimacy of a neighborhood. There’s nothing like popping in to see 10, 20, 30 different neighbors on the same night, most of whom you see all the time.”

This year, after centuries of continuity, Mimouna parties around the world will come to a stop, conquered by a tiny virus.

I know, there is still livestreaming, there is still Zoom, there is still Face Time and all those magical digital instruments that help us approximate reality.

But not for Mimouna.

Not for a ritual where the very essence is the physical gathering of people.

Not for a ritual that tingles with the excitement of real-time human connection.

Not for a ritual where the smell of moufletas, those mouth-watering Moroccan crepes gently caressed with butter and honey, are central to the experience. (Does Zoom have a new aroma feature?)

Mimouna is also about romance. As I wrote:

“According to folklore, Mimouna was known as the ideal night to meet your sweetheart. It was a night when doors and hearts were open, and young men and women, dressed in their finest, would move and mingle like butterflies from one party and sweet table to another.”

As my friend Rabbi Daniel Bouskila discussed on my podcast this morning, none of that human connection can be captured on a digital platform. This is hardly a criticism of technology, which has kept humanity connected during these pandemic times, when much of the world is under “social distancing” lockdown.

I bring up the “Mimouna exception” because sometimes it’s healthy to accept our limitations. We’re used to being able to do pretty much everything we want. Not having a Mimouna party? Unthinkable.

This year, COVID-19 has quarantined Mimouna parties. Sure, the sweet tables will be made, the blessings will be given (Rabbi Bouskila will be livestreaming Mimouna on the SEC Facebook page), the Zoom parties will do their best, but everyone knows it won’t be the same.

As with so many other areas of our lives, the pandemic times are forcing us to accept a new reality.

As we feast on our moufletas this year and show them off on Zoom, and as we wish one another blessings of sweetness and good fortune, we can hope that those blessings will come to fruition before Mimouna of 2021.

That hope is Jewish resiliency.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ Renewed for Season 2

“Hunters,” Amazon’s thriller about a band of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York, has been picked up for a second season.

LAMOTH to Present ‘The Holocaust & Italy’ Film Series and Panel Discussions

The Shoah-related movies and live Zoom discussions are part of this month's “Teicholz Holocaust Remembrance Film Series: The Holocaust & Italy.”

Niall Horan, the 1975 and More British Pop Stars Condemn Anti-Semitism After Rapper Wiley’s Tweets

"All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating.”

Special Envoy Elan Carr Discusses How to Fight Rising Anti-Semitism in AJC Webinar

He said the best way to fight it is to teach others about the Jewish community's positive contributions to humanity.

Jewish Agency Chair Says Seth Rogen Apologized for Israel Comments, Rogen Denies Apologizing

Rogen also claims that he never gave Herzog permission to publicize the conversation.

Home Shalom Monday Message #19

Home Shalom promotes healthy relationships and facilitates the creation of judgement free, safe spaces in the Jewish community. Home Shalom is a program of...

Israeli Army Says It Thwarted Attack on Syrian Border by Infiltrators Who Planted Explosives

A spokesperson for the army said the Syrian regime was responsible.

‘Unorthodox’ Creator Anna Winger on Celebrating Eight Emmy Nominations

The series became a critical and popular success after its March premiere on Netflix. Now, it has been honored with eight Emmy Award nominations.

Pandemic Times Episode 75: What is the Secret to Jewish Resiliency?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on the worsening times and how the Jewish approach to resiliency can guide us. How do we...

Culture

Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ Renewed for Season 2

“Hunters,” Amazon’s thriller about a band of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York, has been picked up for a second season.

LAMOTH to Present ‘The Holocaust & Italy’ Film Series and Panel Discussions

The Shoah-related movies and live Zoom discussions are part of this month's “Teicholz Holocaust Remembrance Film Series: The Holocaust & Italy.”

Jewish Agency Chair Says Seth Rogen Apologized for Israel Comments, Rogen Denies Apologizing

Rogen also claims that he never gave Herzog permission to publicize the conversation.

‘Unorthodox’ Creator Anna Winger on Celebrating Eight Emmy Nominations

The series became a critical and popular success after its March premiere on Netflix. Now, it has been honored with eight Emmy Award nominations.

Latest Articles
Latest

Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ Renewed for Season 2

“Hunters,” Amazon’s thriller about a band of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York, has been picked up for a second season.

LAMOTH to Present ‘The Holocaust & Italy’ Film Series and Panel Discussions

The Shoah-related movies and live Zoom discussions are part of this month's “Teicholz Holocaust Remembrance Film Series: The Holocaust & Italy.”

Niall Horan, the 1975 and More British Pop Stars Condemn Anti-Semitism After Rapper Wiley’s Tweets

"All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating.”

Special Envoy Elan Carr Discusses How to Fight Rising Anti-Semitism in AJC Webinar

He said the best way to fight it is to teach others about the Jewish community's positive contributions to humanity.

Hollywood

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

‘Expecting Amy’ Highlights a New Comedy Dynamic of Jewish Mothers Making, Not Being, the Jokes

Jewish moms like Amy Schumer, who were once the material, have become the premier comics of this age.

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 75: What is the Secret to Jewish Resiliency?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on the worsening times and how the Jewish approach to resiliency can guide us. How do we...

Pandemic Times Episode 74: A Test of Jewish Resiliency

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Rabbi Nicole Guzik shares her thoughts on "opting in" to communal life during these pandemic times. How do...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x