Below is the latest entry in the “Preparing for Passover” Blog written by participants in JOI’s Mothers Circle Program:
I’ve been fretting about the first night of Passover and how I can pull off a Seder: (a) by myself; (b) when I won’t get home with the kids until at least 6:30 pm, and; (c) I need to get the kids in bed (lights off) by 8:00 pm.
I figured if I did a lot of preparation the day before, I could just heat things up when we got home Monday night and then just try to move along as briskly as possible. Presumably our daughters wouldn’t be the only kindergartner and 2nd grader who stayed up too late that night and showed up at school on Tuesday bleary-eyed. Nevertheless, this solution didn’t lend itself to the thoughtful approach to a Passover Seder to which I aspire.
This afternoon, I asked Ruth (who’s Jewish) whose schedule on Mondays is the same as mine, “What’re you doing about Passover?” Casually, she replied, “We’re just going to have a Second Night Seder.”
“Really?” I asked, thinking to myself, “You can do that?!”
Ruth explained that there was simply no way she could pull off anything Seder-like on Monday, so she was going to concentrate on doing a Seder on Tuesday. “It’s just as good, then!”
I’m still reeling at the concept. The fact that Ruth is what I think of as a “real Jew” (i.e., she’s a Jew by ancestry and active member of an established congregation) makes her plans all the more (ahem) kosher.
As much as it seems like cheating, it also seems just plain rational. What’s the point of doing something which stresses you (and, in turn your family) so much that nobody can appreciate anything? Why not just acknowledge Passover by reading a good Passover story and having a meal without bread (and point out why there’s no bread)? Then, the next day (or the next?) when you can do it without driving yourself and your family crazy, have the Seder then?
Hmm…I may have convinced myself. I wonder what my husband will say?