Because I have no interest in being in Jerusalem. We’re in NJ for the seder. This is the first one without Great Grandma, who seems to be fading fast. It is, of course, sad in many ways, but really she’s been ready to go for years now. In happier news, Grandma was moved to tears by Julianna’s first successful reading of the Four Questions in Hebrew with Ben providing translation. Julianna also pointed out that there are actually FIVE questions, so I suspect we’ll have a new Haggadah soon. But that goes without saying, since we’ve had a different one every year for some years running. Back when I was just a Good Girlfriend and then an As Yet Childless Wife, the seder was the traditional one put out by Maxwell House and it went on for hours until you were so hungry you actually ate the parsley when it came around. Once kids were old enough to participate a bit, we started messing around with different versions and shorted accounts and so forth (They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!) but they’re always…annoying. Once we were subjected to “A Woman’s Seder.” Oy. Just tell the damned story and pass the grub. We can work for equality of pay later on. We’ve had seders written for children, but all the adults get confused when things don’t come in the same order they’ve come in for the past 40-70 years. And the songs have to be there. No seder with out Dianu. Funny aside–last night Ellen was kind of laughing that I was able to sing some of the Four Questions, even though I’m not Jewish and never went to Hebrew school…and then I realized, I’ve been to Passover seders more years than I haven’t. Oh.
One thing that never changes? The reading of the kippahs. There’s a stash of yarmulkes in a drawer and inside each one is stamped the name and date of the wedding or bar/bat mitzvah that it came from. It is written that each must be read aloud to the assemblage as it is passed around the table. And then the reminiscences (lord, I had to look up how to spell that): “Who is this?” “Oh! I remember that party!” “Oy, that kid was a piece of work.” It’s nice that at least some things remain the same. Even if there is an orange on the seder plate.