Yael Pachino Photography

Passover for Two


Passover has always meant family, traditions and late nights with tons of wine. It has always been my Dad’s favorite holiday and has slowly but surely became my own. It’s the one holiday, without a doubt, Robert and I make a huge effort to head down to Baltimore so we can celebrate Passover in the way that I love. The way I grew up practicing and the way that fills my heart with pure Jewish bliss!

This year, as I am sure you can guess, we couldn’t make our way to Baltimore. “I think it’s just not happening this year” my Dad said with his words laced in sadness. I was heartbroken. Not just for myself, but for my dad. This was his holiday and now, passover was turning into something neither of us could ever imagine.

I called Robert immediately, “So, it looks like we are staying in Philadelphia for Passover” I said with a sigh, feeling sorry for myself. In typical Robert fashion, he told me it will be ok, we will have a great time just the two of us and we’ll have the best Passover yet. To be honest, I didn’t really believe him, but just hearing him saying it, was enough to make me smile and be grateful that I have the best person by my side.

Two weeks later.

The table was set. The shank-bone didn’t cook exactly right, but I did my best. The Charoset (apples, wine and walnuts) looked a little chunky, but it still worked and I completely forgot to get a Matzah cover, so instead, we used one of Roberts new, white Hanes T-shirt. I brought up the two beanbag chairs from the basement and set the brand new, haggadah (seder books) by each of our wine cups. The smell of Matzah ball soup and sweet potato kugel was in the air. A small smile spread across my face. I looked over to the clock “8:01” it was time to start.

The second Robert and I sat down I knew he was right. Even though I wished we could have been with my family, it was amazing and incredibly special being just the two of us. We sang, we asked questions, we talked and we laughed. We drank wine, Rob split the Matzah perfectly in half (both nights), we ate all of the seder things and then barely touched our three course meal. We read beautiful thoughts that my sisters, brother- in-laws and dad sent us and we celebrated Passover just the two of us in our cozy house in Philadelphia.

  1. Gail Esterson says:

    Yael – Your words touched my heart. I know it was so hard to be away from family but you and Robert created new memories that will always be yours alone. Your sensitivity is what makes you such a wonderful photographer. Looking forward to July!!

    • yaelpachino says:

      Gail! Thank you so much! Your comment made me say “AWW” at least three times (and I read it to Robert as well)! Your support and love mean the world to me, I cannot wait to celebrate with you all in July! xoxo!

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