The first seder this Passover was on Shabbat, and Joline valiantly offered to tackle that for us, on top of the law school schedule she describes below. Even though Passover ended this past Saturday, and there’s a certain relief that goes along with the end of the holiday, reading this post gave me chills, as it encapsulates so much of the amazing power and beauty of the holiday.
First off, hello again dear readers of Miriam’s blog. My sincerest apologies for the incredible delay, I have been a busier law student than I expected, and haven’t had time to sit and write a proper reflection on the first days of Passover, so here goes.
Passover this year brought with it a whole range of emotions. To start with, it’s one of the only Jewish holidays I grew up really doing, and so this year, as with the last five or so, I felt a twinge of sadness that I was not able to go home to California and celebrate with my family. In addition, Passover, with two days worth of meals, including two Seders (aka super meals), means more meals to plan for. Add to it all that I am going through the busiest semester of my law school life, including weekly trips to DC for an internship, making it impossible to clean my kitchen to a standard where I would feel comfortable hosting, and I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t have any Seders or meals to go to.
Luckily, I have wonderful friends with families that are much more local than mine, and they made sure I wasn’t stranded for Seders. I spent the first night Seder with Ilana, her parents, and about 40 of their closest family and friends. While a bit chaotic, it was a wonderful, quick Seder, and the food was amazing. Multiple kinds of meat, delicious matzo ball soup, amazing matzo kugel, and that’s just what I’m still drooling about a week later.
Second night I had the pleasure of spending Seder with Robin and Johannah and some of their family and friends. At 10 people, it felt small and intimate. We moved somewhat quickly through the seder, but also discussed some interesting points that came up, mostly from the New American Haggadah, edited by Jonathan Safran Foer, and I was able to share some insights from my Haggadah (A Night to Remember by Mishael Zion and Noam Zion, which I highly recommend for those with wandering attention spans during seders). Robin made delicious food, including lemon chicken that I couldn’t stop eating. I left both Seders full and satisfied, both from food and from discussion.
In terms of lunches, I didn’t have any plans the first day, but I ended up going to Ilana’s for lunch on the second day, and it was a lovely light salad bar lunch, perfect after two seders filled with eating. She also served amaaaaaaaaazing chocolate covered matzo for dessert, and I probably ate two pieces of matzo worth over the course of an hour.
Passover is a time where I have lots of thoughts about freedom and slavery and justice, but for now, I will leave you with an excerpt from Martin Luther King, from a speech delivered in Memphis the night before his assassination:
We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I
may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land! And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!