my introduction into all things jewish came mostly from the weinstein’s. debbie weinstein was my college roommate and one of 798 jewish peeps in my freshman year dorm complex which housed 800 people. debbie always invited me to her parents home in boston for the holidays and it was there that i got accustomed to the seder rituals. being the token goy, i didn’t have to actually participate in the prayer and hebrew readings so i was only familiar with the big picture and didn’t really know exactly what was going on. the truth is, i was there for mrs. weinstein’s good cooking, and mr. weinstein’s jokes – which were usually at my expense, but funny none the less.
after we graduated from school, i continued to go to the weinstein’s on jewish holidays and by that time i thought i had learned everything i needed to know about what to do at a seder – even though i never had to actually do anything. . .
then one year debbie’s brother mark got married and everything changed. this year, we had to go to mark’s in-laws for passover. i guess they expected me to be jewish. or maybe they felt obligated to make sure i was aware of their collective suffering as a race. or maybe, debbie didn’t tell them she was bringing me and they were just pissed off about that – i don’t know. whatever the reason, they were intent on teaching me how it’s done by making me to eat things i didn’t want, participate in the readings and pray in hebrew. with 5 or 6 seders under my belt, i felt like i could handle the situation just fine – until marks mother in-law asked me if i knew the answers to the 4 questions, which i couldn’t quite remember. i was mortified because i did know the questions were central to the seder. i’m sure it didn’t happen this way at all, but i recall seeing dark red horns growing from my skull in the tiny reflection of her eyeballs. i blame mr. weinstein for my lack of knowledge because i’m positive he must have been making me laugh too hard to pay proper attention to this part of the ritual in years past.
this post serves to save all goyim who may be put in a similar situation this evening during a passover seder. first, i would like to point out out that there is really only one question and four answers, which i would not advise pointing out to seder host.
here is what you’ll need to know:
Why is this night different from all other nights, from all other nights?
On all other nights, we may eat chametz and matzah. On this night, only matzah.
On all other nights, we eat many vegetables. On this night, on this night, maror.
On all other nights, we do not dip even once. On this night, on this night, twice.
(A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten.)
On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining.
and you may also want to know that mark has since re-married a nice girl from a nice family who i am sure, would not make me eat anything i didn’t want. tonight i will celebrate passover in nyc with the enzer’s, as i have since debbie moved to chicago. i will read, pray in hebrew, answer the question(s), have a good time with good people, and as always on passover, be missing mr. weinstein’s enormous laughter.
gut yontiff to all!
To break the bonds of anger,
To live with gentle pride.
To break the bonds of shame,
To live with humble strength.
To break the bonds of envy,
To serve each other in joy.
To break the bonds of guilt,
To accept all G-d’s gifts.
To break the bonds of fear,
To love with fullness of heart.
To break the bonds of lust,
To love with fullness of being.
To break the bonds of loneliness,
To receive a hand of hope.
To break the bonds of neglect,
To reach out a hand of help.
To break the bond of tears,
To see with awe and wonder.
To break the bonds of loss,
To rejoice in all G-d’s works.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.