Thursday, April 21, 2016

Passover 2016/5776

Auburn, NY, probably 1946
I usually look for a painting of Moses parting the Red Sea, or maybe one of the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts and lintels: 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.' Exodus 12:5-8 But, today would have been my Dad's 94th birthday (top left) and I am feeling very full. So, as I was looking for a pic of him to post, I found this one, and in that fullness came a flood of thoughts about Passover, which begins tomorrow night at sunset. We were very blessed as kids to have my Mom's parents and my Father's Mom live down the street, (in Stuyvesant Town, it was up a hill and around a curve...) along with cousins and cousins cousins. Passover, always celebrated with the traditional Seder, Manischewitz wine, which were allowed to dilute and drink, my Gram's never to be repeated handmade gefilte fish, matzo balls which actually floated when cooked (I am still working on this...4 ingredients and I still cannot get it right!!!), the fun of searching for the Afikoman ( a half-piece of matzo which is broken in two during the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal...whoever found it, usually received a dollar bill!!), and simply being together. Since those wonderful days, we have lost many along the way, and we are scattered across the country, but the tradition, of celebrating the Jewish people being delivered from the hand of the grasp of the terrible one, remains well intact. It is written: 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance...' Exodus 12: 12-14. I look at this picture, and I know that that permanent ordinance lives on in me and my Son, and his Sons yet to come, because of these people, my Family, and the many generations who came before them. It is amazing and stirring. So, as I attempt to make another round of matzo balls which actually float and are edible, we are deeply grateful to be celebrating yet another Passover together, whether in Spirit or not.

Happy Passover!!!

'On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.…'
                                                                                                     Exodus 12:16

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