The Many Moods of Passover

By Debby Kinman-Ford

This year more than most, I am struck by the relatability of the Passover story. Last year, our family literally skipped Passover.  We had a new baby due in a month, I had lost my job, oh yeah… and COVID. I don’t believe we were alone in the un-Passover sentiment. We just weren’t feeling it. It was a Passover of loss and hardship and anticipation however cautious we were.  Perhaps it was some of the feelings the Jews had before they were liberated. The fear, the anticipation, the exhaustion.

Fast forward a year and in our world anyway, the sentiments are quite different.  We have hope. I am getting ready to open my own school, the baby is now ten months old and thinking about walking, our entire family has had at least one dose of the vaccine. We are joyful and optimistic about what lay ahead. After a year of taking a holiday from Passover seder, I am reminded of the amount of work that goes into preparing for it! I am late getting my brisket, I am searching the groceries stores for a can of plain coconut macaroons for the cheesecake crust and everyone is adjusting their schedules to accommodate a seder around the bedtime of a ten month old.

As we rush around, this Passover feels more like the journey of the Jews we recall around the table than any other time in my life. From sadness and fear to hopefulness and celebration, the cleansing of our house and pantries, to setting the table and reading the haggadah, this Passover reminds me that it doesn’t matter if next year is in Jerusalem, what matters is that there is a next year and we are all together.

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