Green Salad in balsamic vinaigrette
Matzo Ball Soup
Brisket three ways!: traditional, sephardic, and smoked
Chocolate covered matzo: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter swirl, and nutella varieties
Macaroons: dark chocolate, and coconut varities
So, I’m a little behind the 8-ball this week, so to speak, with Passover preparations. But, the studying hasn’t stopped, this week being a study on the dependability of beloved family and friends. Without my wife, father-in-law, my brother, and our best friend, our seder couldn’t have been the fun and exciting night it was.
Thanks also to our (34!) wonderful, wonderful guests, and their children who truly made the evening special.
That’s what I’m going to talk about. When the time came to collect the afikomen for the dessert, the children held it for ransom with special enthusiasm. The afikomen, which means dessert, is actually a piece of matzoh reserved for after the festive meal (shulchan oreich). In the Passover Seder, matzoh is the bread of affliction (lachma anya) and the bread of freedom, a reminder of what life as a slave is like, and a commemoration of the exodus (liberation) from Egypt.
It is important to understand that the Passover Seder is written for children. It is traditional for children to read (and sing!) the Four Questions, which describe how the Passover night is different from all other nights. The evening is also replete with symbols (like matzoh) and stories designed to inspire questions, an object lesson in continuation from generation to generation. Finally, it is traditional for the children to steal the afikomen, the dessert of lachma anya, and hold it for ransom for something sweet.
How wonderful is it that we are taught to teach our children to hold oppression ransom? How wonderful is it when children learn to do so with unbounded enthusiasm?
This is what made the evening so special for me.