14 Nisan: Being
Today is the First Day of the Omer!

First night of Pesach: I don't want to forget

 

The experience of reading my poem "Order" at the start of the seder, and managing for once not to break into tears at reaching the mention of my grandfather, of blessed memory, who taught me how to make matzah balls.

 

 

My son excitedly explaining to his friend that they were going to look for the hidden matzah and then get presents! And then the three kids running around the house looking for the afikoman. Hearing them talking to each other about how they had to just -- keep -- looking.

 

 

Reading R' Lynn Gottlieb's poem about removing the hametz in the month of Nisan, which I've read at my seders for probably 15 years now. Going around the table, stanza by stanza, the familiar words connecting this year with all the years before.

 

 

My son singing the "a-a-men" at the end of each borei pri hagafen blessing, after each of the four traditional cups of wine. No matter where he was when we blessed the wine -- whether at the table, or playing in the living room -- he piped up and sang the amen for us, with obvious pride.

 

 

Beginning the Maggid / Storytelling section of our seder with the "story about stories" -- which ends with "'All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient.' And it was sufficient." Ethan reading the Martín Espada poem during Motzi/Matzah. My mother-in-law reading the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem during Hallel.

 

 

I knew that a few thousand miles away, my extended clan was together at my brother's house, singing all of the prayers which were part of my childhood seder soundtrack. I love those old melodies and those old words, and I'm sorry I didn't get to sing them with my parents and my siblings and my cousins.

But I also love the poems and readings and songs which have become part of our own idiosyncratic household tradition. And I'm so grateful to be able to celebrate Pesach, this year and every year, with family and beloved friends.

Chag sameach to all! I hope your Passover is sweet.

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