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!