Passover begins tonight, and I’m ready for a little holiday spirit. This year, I’m being very intentional about staying present and enjoying the moment. I work as a communications director for a Jewish organization, and most of the time, I’m planning content two holidays ahead of where we are right now. Because of my line of work, holidays tend to pass me by, one after the next, without a lot of time for personal fulfillment. I guess you could call it an occupational hazard.
So today, I want to take a few minutes here to state my intentions about how I’m approaching Passover 2023.
I admit that Passover food is not my favorite. Once the first two Passover seders are over, I get tired of brisket and chicken. Like post-Thanksgiving leftovers, I tend to nosh on the side dishes like sweet and sour meatballs, matzah kugels, and chocolate macaroons for days. By the end of the holiday, my stomach asks for freedom from all of that matzah. But I understand the sacrifice I’m making by forgoing bread to remember that we were once slaves in Egypt. It’s also important to remember those who still aren’t free to live authentically and make decisions about their bodily autonomy. I won’t sugar coat it. I’m talking about abortion access, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial justice just to name a few of the issues the themes of Passover can bring to light.
My favorite part of the holiday is the Passover seder and finding ways to connect the story to modern life. Themes like springtime and starting anew, and going from slavery to freedom are still relevant today. For me, I might be looking for a new start, a new adventure. I’m constantly reinventing myself, and the ideas are starting to brew again. As for the social justice themes I mentioned above, I am empowered by my faith to believe as I do. I know others have different points of view based on their core beliefs. I respect that. But I don’t think one person’s faith should trump another person’s faith. Can’t we all just get along without telling each other what books to read, who to love, and how to live?
Ok, I lied. Being with family is my favorite part of all the Jewish holidays. My kids are very intentional when it comes to celebrating this holiday. Andrew just called from campus to ask when Passover starts so he can plan his meals accordingly. Jenna is leading the Passover seder at Towson Hillel. I lead my seder, but we are not doing ours until Saturday when everyone can be home. Tonight, we will spend the first night of Passover with my parents, aunt, uncle, and lots of cousins. I blessed to have a large family to celebrate with. And carrying on the Passover traditions has always a priorit to me as a Jewish mom. Looking around the seder table, I am so proud that we take the time out of our busy schedules to make it a priority to be together and celebrate.
Wishing all who celebrate a zissen Pesach!
Glenda CatesApril 8, 2023 at 3:05 pm (2 months ago)
I loved learning about your traditions and that your children make sure to follow them. My favorite part of any Holiday is family although my mom and dad are gone. My brother is out of town. I spend it with my sister. Although I could go to my mother n laws it always ends up with drama which my son and I don’t like so we celebrate in our home and have more fun being together with our fur babies.
ElisaApril 12, 2023 at 6:35 pm (2 months ago)
Sounds like a good plan! I hope you had a good holiday.
TamaraApril 6, 2023 at 4:52 am (2 months ago)
Chag Pessach Sameach, Elisa and Family!
Victoria+JusterApril 5, 2023 at 7:59 pm (2 months ago)
Sounds like it will be a special time for you and your family. It’s wonderful that your able to spend time together.
Angel LewisApril 5, 2023 at 6:33 pm (2 months ago)
Thank you for sharing about your traditions and faith. Thank you for supporting and holding space for those different than you. Keep casting positive ripples through your words and actions.
Safrianna LughnaApril 5, 2023 at 4:56 pm (2 months ago)
Thank you for sharing these details about Passover. I don’t personally practice it, but I love the details you’ve provided here as I can imagine what it would be like to participate. I also am really honored you mentioned about how around the world people are unable to live authentically. This is such an important topic, and one that I am passionate about bringing to light!
KandasApril 5, 2023 at 4:16 pm (2 months ago)
It’s wonderful that you are surrounded by family for this special holiday.