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Pesach, Matzah, Maror

Three black-inked words on a wine-stained page. Pesach — the wrenching sacrifices of history, The exultant joy of tradition. Matzah — crumbs of poverty, bread of freedom. Maror — the crucible of heartbreak, the transcendence of tears. 8 modern-day chronicles of three eternal words.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Just Three Paragraphs Chaia Frishman The evening began innocently enough. Kadeish, Urchatz, Karpas, and Yachatz. Hentelach washed, vegetable dipped, afikomen destination calculated. Maggid. Ha Lachma Anya: the formal Aramaic invitation for company. As if on cue, there is a knock at the door. On a normal Shabbos night, our house has the feel of Grand Central station. Neighbors borrow chrein, young neighbors visit, friends come to join in Tehillim. But why would anyone be outside now? I open the door. Surprise! Although they initially turned down our offer to come and stay for Yom Tov, my cousin Cheryl and her non-Jewish husband stand at the front door, their six-year-old-son David standing between them, dressed in a plaid shirt, olive corduroys, and high-top sneakers… they’ve decided to surprise us and stop in for the Seder! Initially, I am thrilled to see my loved ones —Cheryl used to be like my older sister. A needy, overdramatic, and a tad bit judgmental older sister, but a huge part of my life just the same. Shopping mall trips, deep phone conversations, midnight mani-pedis, the works. Her absence from my day-to-day has more to do with geographical distance than divergent religious beliefs, but my loyalty to Yiddishkeit definitely put a kink in our relationship.

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