Family time! I'm so lucky that this year I got to celebrate Passover with a majority of my family:
mom, aba, middle brother and his gf, grandparents, cousin from TX, cousins from MA, aunt, uncle, 2nd cousins and their daughter, 2nd cousin's older sister, and bff from undergrad!
I'm used to being away from my family, not being able to see them very often, but one of the hardest parts of the vagabond singer lifestyle is missing big events like holidays where all of the rest of your family will be together, or weddings and other celebrations where bunches of friends will be reunited...and you'll probably be in a chorus rehearsal for the young artist program that you got into that summer.
(oooh, bitter much?)..No, I'm thankful for all of the opportunities that I've had, wouldn't change anything, but am doubly and triple-y thankful that this year I got to see my family on this important and celebratory evening.
And now, a run-down of last night (abridged, and fit for print)
By Michael Rubiner
Thanks, God, for creating wine. (Drink wine.)
Thanks for creating produce. (Eat parsley.)
Overview: Once we were slaves in Egypt. Now we're free. That's why we're doing this.
1. What's up with the matzoh?
2. What's the deal with horseradish?
3. What's with the dipping of the herbs?
4. What's this whole slouching at the table business?
1. When we left Egypt, we were in a hurry. There was no time for making decent bread.
2. Life was bitter, like horseradish.
3. It's called symbolism.
4. Free people get to slouch.
(Heat soup now.)
The four kinds of children and how to deal with them:
Wise child—explain Passover.
Simple child—explain Passover slowly.
Silent child—explain Passover loudly.
Wicked child—browbeat in front of the relatives.
Speaking of children: We hid some matzoh. Whoever finds it gets five bucks.
The story of Passover: It's a long time ago. We're slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh is a nightmare. We cry out for help. God brings plagues upon the Egyptians. We escape, bake some matzoh. God parts the Red Sea. We make it through; the Egyptians aren't so lucky. We wander 40 years in the desert, eat manna, get the Torah, wind up in Israel, get a new temple, enjoy several years without being persecuted again.
(Let brisket cool now.)
The 10 Plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice—you name it.
The singing of "Dayenu":
If God had gotten us out of Egypt and not punished our enemies, it would've been enough. If he'd punished our enemies and not parted the Red Sea, it would've been enough.
If he'd parted the Red Sea—(Remove gefilte fish from refrigerator now.)
Eat matzoh. Drink more wine. Slouch.
Thanks again, God, for everything.