Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

On all other Passovers, we would fly to California to join my parents for the Seders; this year my father flew to New York to join me for the Seders.  On all other Passovers, my father would lead the Seders; this year, I led the Seders.  On all other Passovers, my mother would make potato kugel, gefilte fish loaf, roasted turkey, two kinds of charoset, two flavors of homemade sorbet, chicken soup and kneidlach to die for, matza brei for breakfast, vegetable burgers, dozens of Passover rolls for snacking, different types of salads, honey cake, sponge cake (and more); this year my wife and I worked to approximate some of her recipes.   On all other Passovers, we dined on dishes handed down from my Bubbe and Zady (grandparents); this year, we dined on dishes I purchased for $1.99 each at Target on the morning of the Seders.  On all other Passovers, I felt I was a child again being loved and cared for by my mother; this year I was the adult taking care of my father.  On all other Passovers, I felt a sense of wholeness in the embrace of family; this year, I worked to keep the threads of family intact.  On all other Passovers, I would have long talks with my mother about all sorts of things; this year, I am trying to keep her memory in my thoughts.  On all other Passovers, I could sleep in and go to shul depending on how I felt; this year, going to shul is an obligation.

However, as on all other Passovers, we felt joy as we completed the Seder, sang "Next Year in Jerusalem" and the other songs to "Chad Gadya". 

May I, may we all, be brought, in the words of the Hagadda, "from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity, and from servitude to redemption."

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