A short take on Easter and the Easter bunny


from:Klugerman, Rabbi Tzvi

to:8th Grade Medieval Jewish History

Time March 27, 2016

SInce I won't be in school tomorrow to answer your questions about Easter and the Easter bunny, and if you didn't read the longer article from the other day, here is a short on the subject

Uncle Al and Uncle Floyd Shoot Some Pool
by Joyce Sutphen

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They’re wearing white shirts
and their flowered ties hang
on the brass doorknob.

Uncle Floyd rubs the tip
of his cue with a square
of blue chalk, and Uncle Al

leans over the table to take
a shot, teeth clenched down
on his cigar. I’m as tall as

the pool table, and I can see
the green felt cloth and the
rolling balls, solid and striped.

Uncle Al wipes the sweat from
his forehead, says: “Now that’s
a real trick shot!” Uncle Floyd

sways to one side, makes
the floor creak. I’m so close
I can see his fingernails are etched

with fine lines, that the cue’s blue
nudge is slipping back and forth
on the bony rack of his fingers.

There’s something tightening,
gathering itself to strike.
Bam! I see that he has divided

the triangle of Heaven so that
each bright planet will find
a deep pocket and sleep
until the green sky is empty.

"Uncle Al and Uncle Floyd Shoot Some Pool" by Joyce Sutphen from After Words. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)



Today is the Christian holiday of Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus' resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion. Easter is a moveable feast; in other words, it's one of the few floating holidays in the calendar year, because it's based on the cycles of the moon. Jesus was said to have risen from the dead on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. For that reason, Easter can fall as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th. Easter also marks the end of the 40-day period of Lent and the beginning of Eastertide; the week before Easter is known as Holy Week and includes the religious holidays Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

The word "Easter" and most of the secular celebrations of the holiday come from pagan traditions. Anglo Saxons worshipped Eostre, the goddess of springtime and the return of the sun after the long winter. According to legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became our Easter Bunny. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they used to be so scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century.

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