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Passover, Day Two: Live and Learn

Unlike the reflective seder of Night One, last night’s festivities were of the quick and dirty variety – get ’em in, get it done, get to the food.

Brent and I have hosted the second night of Passover at our house for the last couple years, and we learned quickly that when my extended family gets together (which happens, on average, about once a month), people just want to talk and eat and distribute Phillies season tickets (or Eagles season tickets… or Sixers season tickets… you get the idea). They don’t want to be bothered with the ritual of whatever holiday it is for which we’re gathering.

So, no giving thanks on Thanksgiving.

Reluctant candle lighting at Chanukah.

And a Passover seder? Forget it…

So, as I was planning for the service, I knew it had to be entertaining. I knew it had to be interactive. And above all, I knew it had to be quick.

Last year, Passover fell on the same day as the first adventure race of the season, a six-hour sprint about an hour from our house. Brent, Bruce, and I knew that we’d be in the top handful of teams, and since the fastest teams generally complete the course in 3-3.5 hours, we thought we’d make it home with plenty of time to set the table, throw the vegetables in the oven (we do passover potluck around here), and jump in the shower.

Unfortunately, the course was longer than usual, and even though we finished first, we were still out for close to 4.5 hours. We got home half an hour before everyone was set to arrive and frantically tried to pull everything together.

My mom was not amused.

So, this year we were a little bit more prepared. I took the day off from dissertating, and spent the morning cooking and cleaning and whatnot. By the time Brent got home at 2 PM, everything was close to done, so he went to work in the backyard and I hopped on the stationary bike for a quick hill ride in anticipation of next weekend’s return of the GOALS Gals Gone Wild.

My mom still had her doubts when she called an hour before the festivities were set to start and I was still pedaling away, but she came around when she saw the circle of chairs in the living room, the set table, and the vegetables, roasting in the oven.

Everyone arrived at 6:15, we sat down for the seder at 6:30, and by 6:50, my family was still in good spirits, chowing down on a first course of gefilte fish and dried figs.

The secret?

A reconceived version of the Passover Story.

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3 responses to “Passover, Day Two: Live and Learn

  1. Amanda April 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t know anything about Passover, so this is very interesting to me!

  2. Bess Staebler April 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    AMAZING! You officially have the coolest Seders ever! I sense a great book topic- “The 21st Century Jew: How to keep traditions alive, interesting and relevant”

  3. Natalie D April 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Haha, sounds great! : ) Good job host!

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