Monday, April 17, 2006

Home Again, Home Again

I just returned from Passover in Michigan. Although I have no blood-family left in my life, this trip reminded me of how rich my life is in extended family. I mentioned that I have been celebrating Passover with this gathering of people for over 20 years. The young man who read the section earmarked for the "youngest child" at my first Passover is now married and has a Ph.D. He and his wife hosted this Passover. I love the span of time this represents, the fullness of years, the seeing-through of events and life-changes with eachother that this stands for.

Many of us have settled into roles. J, as I said earlier, is always the Patriarch, the final arbiter. E always opens the door for Elijah. There are funny little quirks as well. At one point the town of B'nai Barak is mentioned. J will ask, every year, "And just where IS B'nai Barak?" And because we have answered this so many times before, we all now join in a loud exclamation of the phrase "it is a suburb outside of Tel Aviv!!!" This comes as a rather surprising point of emphasis for those guests at seder who have not been through this with us before, at which point we laugh and explain. This happens every year and is as much a part of the ritual as prayers or songs or cups of wine.

I treasure the familiarity of these nuances, the echo of years passed. I love how we laugh and sing and ask a thousand questions every year. Our seders are long - this year they started at 6.45 and went through til well after midnight. (Oh, Oh, Oh, what a blessing that I can call them "our" seders!)

I love that I have been given a place to fit there. That I have a role too. I am the Haggadah scholar of sorts,in that every year I will search out answers to unanswered questions from the past years - or find new ways to look at parts of this splendid liturgy. I also arrive a day early to help peel vegetables for a day, which I love doing - feeling "of use". It is a conglomoration of blessings. This year several folks said that they could not imagine a seder without me there anymore. Those who said that were all related by blood and tradition. I held back tears of joy that I have been so welcomed. Their gift humbles me, amazes me, and makes my life more meaningful.

The title of this entry is "Home Again, Home Again" because both ends of this journey were "home", each in a different way.

"Next Year In Jerusalem!"

2 Comments:

Blogger LutheranChik said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful. I love the sense of continuity you describe.

9:16 PM  
Blogger samtzmom said...

Wecome home dearest! Glad it was such a rich and full journey with your other family. :c) And, glad you are safe and sound in your other home again.

6:46 AM  

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