April 11, 2019
“All the kids are staying up as late as they can before they pass out.” Shana, my sister, WhatsApped me. I laughed when I read the message. There is nothing like staying up for Passover Seder when you are a kid. Drinking what feels like galloons of grape juice, smelling the bitter horseradish but not eating it, singing the dozens of songs we practiced and showing off the beautiful Hagadot (Seder Books) that we spent hours creating in school. It was our night to shine and I loved every second of it.
As I think about Akiva and Shmuel belting out the “Four Questions” on the top of their lungs, with their younger siblings trying to keep up and my sister and brother-in-law smiling, I can’t help but feel an immense warmth and sense of pride. I find the whole Passover ordeal charming. Don’t get me wrong, I know it is a lot of work. I know the cleaning can be overwhelming, the cooking can be challenging and the long nights can be exhausting. Yet, there is nothing like sitting around the Seder table, asking the same questions as every Jewish generation that came before us and eating the same Matzah as all the Jewish generations that will be coming after us.
Passover, in its essence, is a holiday for the children. It is here to teach the next generation our heritage. Teach them about the exodus of Egypt, the strength of the Jewish people and our ability to overcome obstacles. I never fully understood the power of this holiday until I witnessed my oldest niece, Shira’s, first Seder. The twinkle of pride in her eyes as she sang her songs, the happiness that washed over her face every time she answered a question correctly and the smile that shined through as she showed us the projects she made in school, finally made me see the incredible importance of this holiday. There is nothing like watching the next generation fall in love with your heritage and your traditions the way you did once upon a time.
This year, all the little ones will be in Israel (as they should be) but that doesn’t make Passover any less special. This year, Robert will be coming home with me. We will be surrounded by family and close friends, tradition and tons of wine. I couldn’t be more excited to share my favorite holiday with my favorite human. I could not be more excited to sit down and keep the Jewish Tradition alive for yet, another year.