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April 11, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2003

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ItE RITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 11, 2003 PAGE 19 By Mark I. Rosen NEWTON, Mass. (JTA)-- Passover is a holiday of re- membrance, a time to recall and retell the story of the deliverance of the Jewish People from generations of gYptian bondage. But there Is also a different kind of re- taembering that takes place each Passover, in which memory is personal, not Scripted. We spontaneously recall, often vividly, the many different Seders we have at- tended over the years, both as a child and as an adult. one of the simple child of the cantor, and the family invited Haggadah, and it turned out her to their Passover Seder. to be a lovely experience to She was very excited at at- see the ritual through their tending her first Jewish eyes. event, and wanted to bring a One year, my Seder expe- very special gift. So she riencewasadisappointment, looked hard to find the one I call this one Seder-lite. item that she knew symbol- It was a perfunctory izedJudaism. She still turns matzah and wine tastingac- purple every time she de- companied by a riffling of scribes the look on the faces the Haggadah pages thatofherhostandhostesswhen figuratively stirred a cool she presented them with a breeze but didn't warm my challah or loaf of bread. heart. Both guests and hosts ben- Inasubsequentyear, lwasefit when strangers are in- delighted and entertained at vited. Individuals who are a Seder orchestrated espe- single, widowed, away from . My own memories begin ciallyforchildren,withwind- home, newly converted or lanthe early 1960s, when our up frogs and finger puppets, unable to conduct their own mily went to a Seder or Perhaps the most memo- Seder are deeply grateful for ritual Passover meal each rable Seder I attended is the an invitation. Unaffiliated held at the Chicago one I call, both wryly and Jews strengthen their con- me of my Aunt Fella and fondly, thelastsupper. Itwas nectiontoJudaism, andthose nele Morris Almost every led in Manhattan by Rabbi experiencedatSederpartici- adult in atten lance was from Shlomo Carlebach at his Up- pation pick up new insights EaStern Europe; boredom per West Side shul or syna- and ideas for future Seders. anaongthechildrenwas ram- gogue. Seventy of us from all Guest who aren't Jewish of- Pant.My cousins and Iwould over the country listened to find the experience fasci- !ne.vitably end up crawling stories and sang wordless nating, although it is prob- Under the table for a mis- chants until three in the ably a good idea to prepare ehievous rendezvous, a dis- morning. When I finally left, them in advance for the un- it action from the relentless theSederstillhadafewhours familiar ritual aspects of the !ddish-accented recitation to go. Reb Shlomo died the meal. following fall. This Seder The Maxwell House Hosts gain in a variety of , aggadah. (Literally trans- turned out to be the last one ways. Jewish affiliations for ted as the telling, the he led. young children are rein- aggadah recalls the Israel- Drawing from my own en-forced when they see strang- IlL.Exodus from Egypt and riching experiences, I am ers sing the same songs and ;"ulcates the rituals per- now an enthusiastic advocate perform the same rituals as rrned at the Seder.) Even- ofinvitingstrangerstoone's their parents. Family ten- lly, our impatience was Seder. sions can be eased when arded by my aunt's amaz- Many families do this rou- strangers are present, as dif- Passover delicacies. Itinely, reaching out to wel- ficultrelativesaremorelikely . n tever recailunderstand- come various categories of to be on their best behavior. 1 What was going on, but I Jews as well as non-Jews. Strangers contribute new tilllooked forward to going. Naomi Osher of Newton, songs, melodies, stories and Was comforting and pre- Mass recalls her parents interpretations, help out in table. the same relatives having twenty to thirtythe kitchen, and entertain Have you registered for summer camp yet? nae each yearand the same people eachyearat theirCin- the kids. appeared on the table, cinnati home, a number of Their questions can bring t eeause the Seders I at- them Christians. Her par- out new understandings and '.nded growing up always ents' born-again house-make the experience con- adthesame cast ofcharac- keeper always looks forward tinually meaningful. New it was an exciting break to the tzimmes, a sweet car- friendships and connections m routine when someonerot dish. often emerge. ramiliar showed up. One Fred Kahn of Buffalo If you are inspired to in- Lrrnyoldercousinbrought Grove, I11 remembers the vite one stranger or many, "Y Yfriend, and it noticeably time as a boy that his mother here are some people and nged the Seder dynamic, called the Hillel or Jewish placesyou might call to find ,w tlen it, l went away to college, StudentUnionatNorthwest-guests: Your rabbi, syna- aSmyturn tobecome the ern University to see if any gogue office, or a synagogue ~ ~arniliar face when I at- students wantedtocome.Onlocated in a neighborhood faced ed my first Seder with a the night of the Seder, seven that is no longer predomi- ~'-m|Y therthanmvown It students from the dentalnantlyJewish,whereremain- 'v ls I-k. -- " t )uen that I really started school showed up at the door, ing members are likely to be i*PPreciatewhatamitzvah causing the family to elderly: g %d deed it was to extend scramble for seats and plates. an assisted living center iiie .tations to strangers, es- Rabbi Sheldon Ever and his or geriatric home; lally those unable towife, Reva, beforeimmigrat- the Hillel or Chabad il; nd.the holiday with fam- ing to Jerusalem, made sure House at your local college ' mce then, I've been a at many different eachyear toinvitelocalwid- or university; ows and widowers who had chaplains at local hospi- ers. It is still a comfort- nowhere togo, drawing from tals or military bases. rL ritual for me eventhe large elderly population Jewish community cen- t~u~h the faces are new, of their Miami Beach neigh- ters; di~ eCentsAmericanand the borhood. food pantries, social ser- e- e;S,different. But it is On occasion, attendance at vice organizations and im- er ee ,t predictable experi- their Seders was as high as migration organizations; While the Ha adah is 40. Reform or Conservative the road map, each Having strangers at theorganizations that conduct r% edertakesdifferentside Seder can generate someclasses for converts; and ele ? on Which I never tray- comical moments, especially organizations that pro- tilt ei'2 "-s a marvel the first when the guests aren't Jew- vide interest-free loans or ish.Mary (nother realname), tzedakah or charity to the a" ctoa ttended a Seder con- who grew up in Detroit, at- Jewish community. "~{'~lby,u Jewish educators, tended Catholic schools as a Remember, by opening I% rL e the Seder was child and never learned any- yourhometoothersonPass- %.~"!Y, everything was dis- thing about Judaism. over, you fulfill the appeal of !yz~d; explained and ana- Asanadult, she befriended the Hagaddah liturgy: "Let I~sil~i~ acquired many new a man whose father was aall who are hungry, come and v%t1, ts .and went home fer i~ Y W'shing that such an [ -------~e~ had been intro- Chicago rela- I fo r a re,ther Seder, early in my %l;~'asa"Seder Stranger'"S~i{~e by surprise. ] ~ Happy Passover !hild lUl!Y in possession of [ Thank you to all my friends keh". d naivet,I was t%2*Oack when I encoun- I Marvin & Ruth Silverstein ftit~n n'Jews at the table ] Retired Electrician he'i s f the host familyl questions reminded [ 407-445-0268 eat. Let all who are in need, come and share the Passover meal." Mark L Rosen is the is the author of"Thank You for Be- ing Such a Pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing With Difficult People" (Three Riv- ers Press). Reprinted from JewishFamily. corn, a service of Jewish Family & Life/ Mercedes Benz BEST WISHES TO ALL MY FRIENDS & CLIENTS FOR A HAPPY PASSOVER Come see Tammy for your new Mercedes-Benz 810 North Orlando Ave. Maitland, FL 32751 407-621-6913 407-252-4057 JCC TO ALL OUR FRIENDS from the BOARD OF DIRECTORS & STAFF In observance of Passover the JCC will be closed: Thursday and Friday, April 17 & 18 Wednesday and Thursday, April 23 & 24 JCC OFFERS THE BEST IN CHILDCARE AND SUMMER CAMP TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS IN MAITLAND & S. ORLANDO l I Don't delay, camps are filling quickly! For information: Maitland---407-645-5933 S. Orlando---407-239-7411 )