Friday, April 11, 2008

Pesach - Part 3 (Memories)

OK. This is the last one I swear. But I really wanted to share some memories of my personal experiences of observing Passover. So here they are in no particular order:

- Always held in the home of my Aunt and Uncle BCD. Other family members included my cousins the BCD Girls, our grandparents, their grandmother, occasional other Aunt or Uncle and a big hairy dog.

- The Haggadah's (the book you read.) we used were light blue hard cover.(Rented maybe?) I loved that you read it "backwards" (left-to right), english on one side of the page and hebrew on the other.

- My Grandfather at the head of the table presiding, and later my Uncle BCD running the show.

- Hearing my relatives read certain portions in the hebrew lilting cadences, my cousins singing Dayenu in clear, joyful voices. The rest of us joining in on the choruses. (Which are pretty easy to get as it's just "dayenu" over and over again)

- Drinking Manishevitz, which frankly even as a child I thought was terrible. But it was ALCOHOL.

- The cup for Elijah on the table, wondering if he was actually going to show up. (He never did)

- Battling my sisters and cousins to find the afikomen. At some part during the reading, a matzah is broken in half and wrapped in a napkin and then hidden by an adult somewhere in the house. Later (after dinner maybe?) the children search for it and the one who finds it wins a prize. In our family, the prize (from my grandfather) was a significant amount of money, especially to a child. All the participants got something but the winner got a LOT more so the competition was pretty fierce. I'm so excited that my daughter will be old enough to really "get" the game this year, and so will Z and E- her competitors! :)

- Chocolate covered matzah. Store bought and o-so-delicious. (Particularly since there was usually a large portion of the meal I didn't eat.)

- Getting to ask the 4 questions. It is supposed to be the youngest child that asks the questions, and as the eldest I was generally out of the running. But I had some times when I was one of the few that could read. And i also vaguely remember them spreading the wealth around a little bit so all of us got a chance.

- Reclining at the table. My family's mealtime was never insanely formal, but I loved that it was part of the holiday to be relaxed at the table (elbows wherever you want!)

- Hearing the story each year of how "our forefathers" escaped from Egypt. To be thankful for all the freedoms we have now, to remember that they are not owed to us, and to think of all peoples currently living under oppression and be reminded that it exists even now.

35 comments:

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

Yay! Sounds like a good time. I think the book would throw me for a loop though.

Xani said...

Rented Haggadahs?? No way! We still have the same ones. I think last year we even brought them to detroit? I also remember one year my Dad made a scavenger hunt for the afikomen, with various clues, etc. As a kid the sedar always seemed SO long, like we were NEVER going to get to eat!!

Erin said...

Aw yay! Passover memories! I remember no one could ever manage to find a real lamb shank bone, so we always had our traditional chicken bone. And yes, Xani's right - the Haggadot (plural) are so ancient, I hope we use them again this year! They are so not PC but I still love them.

I think I, at age 25, still have to read the four questions this year because the little ladies can't do it yet! Or, can they??

alexis said...

I don't have time to share much, but I wanted to say how great it was you shared your memories about this holiday.

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