“I love you, Blood Buddy,” came a sweet croon from the back of the car, “I looooove blood!”
Way to perpetuate a stereotype, kid.
And at Passover, too. As my friend Joanna P. would say, “and that is how you make a blood libel joke, Sarah Palin.” Although, maybe she wouldn’t. Joanna P. is right this moment trying to remove an entire jar of Mod Podge from her carpet, so I can’t know for sure.
All I do know for sure is that blood and Jews and Passover are a tricky trinity, and that my Jewish child is in a booster seat singing love songs to a plush blood drop clutched to his cheek.
Why does he have a blood toy at all? He found my main storage bin of plague toys this morning. I had started to haul all of them out of the attic (I blush to tell you how many), to get ready for the annual sort and box activity. Child labor: they do all the sorting and boxing. See DIY Plagues Toys post.
He rooted through the bin, pulling up ziplocs of frogs, locusts, and so on, and he came to a velvet drawstring bag. “Plagues!” he read aloud, loudly, because he can read this year, and he spilled the soft toys onto the floor.
I don’t think this particular plagues set is still available retail, but a few pictures are online. All ten plagues are in fabric form, and some vibrate at the pull of a string. Blood is a velvety drop-shaped blob with two adorable eyes. A blood lovey! His favorite, apparently, even over the plush boil and plush cube of darkness. He chose his “Blood Buddy” as his sleep friend for nap time at school today: his nonJewish school. Ho ho, I can’t wait to hear what happens. . .
I remember when I had never heard of the whole bloody matzah business, nor indeed of any hint of anti-Jewishness in all the world. I had no idea there was such hate and fear, nor that it could last longer than Mod Podge on carpet. I was as innocent as the kid with the Drop O’ Blood Sleep Lovey, and I was a grown-up.
Long may it last, the innocence that radiates from the 5-point harness system. He’s so excited about Passover. I wouldn’t dream of saying a word against his infatuation with anthropomorphized blood. The irony is funny and painful and hopelessly beautiful. I want this to be the thing that lasts.
I saw this in my grocery store and thought you’d enjoy:
Indeed! And it’s a plastic frog/Passover mutation I don’t already own.
I know too well what Blood Libel is. Growing up in Ukraine, my family and I were personally accused by neighbors, classmates, coworkers, etc. every spring for putting blood of christian kids in matzah and for crucifying Christ (difference in times was not an issue for them.) The antisemitism is very strong in Ukraine and other former USSR countries. And that’s why we immigrated to the United States.
The “funny” thing is, my son got the same exact age-old question a few years ago from our neighbors’ son (they are greek) on the school bus ride home: “Why did you kill our Christ?” Sadly, the blood libel lives on…
I wonder what was your son’s teacher’s reaction to that cute blood lovey?
Two different perceived “crimes:” the killing of Jesus and the myth of ritual murder. You and your family have apparently been accused of both. I am so sorry. The link between medieval antisemitism and modern is all too clear.
As for my son’s teachers, they were awesome. We were lucky to have two smart, loving and generous teachers in that classroom. And, they let us visit for a Passover show and tell—in costume, with props and snacks. My hope is that the kids who experienced it will be that much less likely to grow up and hate anyone for just being Jewish.