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Growing, evolving, the Seder becomes more

04/05/2018 09:11:51 AM


By Becca Yudkoff

During Passover we spend most of our time in New Jersey with my in-laws and extended family. Having just had our third baby, I was curious how this was going to go down. We stuffed our mini-van full of all the essential and non-essential items, including an excess of diapers, too many pairs of shoes, the crucial stuffed jaguar to accompany bunny and bear and lots and LOTS of matzah. We kept the crying at bay (mostly) and found ourselves in New Jersey a few hours later.
Over the years, the Seder has changed a bit. For my introduction to the family, my father- in- law rolled out his mother’s polished silver…we have now graduated to the fancy plastic ware. What was once a relatively quiet seder is now a three ring monkey circus.
But changes aside, there is beauty in the traditions that remain. As we recount the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt, my children, as their parents did, and their grandparents before them, are spilling grape juice, tying shoelaces under the table and gnawing on the shankbone, all the while singing Dayenu and hunting for the afikoman. My daughter’s matzah cover now sits alongside her dad’s from 1986, and my son’s reclining pillow joins his aunt’s underneath my father-in-law. The intergenerational transmission of tradition during the Seder is just as much explicit through the reading of the Haggadah as it is implicit, as the children figure out how to turn the Seder into an experience of freedom and jubilation. Each year as our Seder evolves and grows, it becomes only more of itself, as it has always been.
Becca Yudkoff is Temple Shalom's Families with Young Children Program Director.

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780