Passover starts today. Most people think this holiday is a big pain in the ass, but I actually like it. I mean, clearly I’m not a fan of going a whole week without eating bread, but I try not to focus on that part. The second all the matzah starts to bloat and back me up, I’m done!
Instead, what I like to focus on is what I know I can stick to like…… drinking more wine!
I bet even Sheryl Sandberg is gonna lean back tonight instead of leaning in!
Any holiday that encourages us to drink more wine and relax while doing so is a holiday that works for me!
My memories of Passover even as a very little girl are vivid. Seders at my Aunt’s house were the real deal. She’d sit at the end of the table; the one closest to the kitchen for easy access to the matzah balls and my Uncle would sit down at the other end as the Head of the Family leading us through the meal. He’d call on each of us to take a turn reading aloud our selected paragraphs from the Haggadah.
I remember being a nervous wreck that I’d get stuck with the paragraph filled of complicated words that I wouldn’t know how to pronounce. I’d be so uptight about potentially stuttering on my words that I would secretly count ahead how many people would get picked before me and then jump to what paragraph would most likely be mine so I could practice in my head.
Oh G-d, is it bitter Herb or erb? The H is silent right?
‘Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Yehoshua. Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah. They were celebrating the Seder in Bnei Brak.’
‘Had God not taken us out of Egypt and given us the Torah we, our children and our children’s children would have remained slaves and eventually disappeared as a people as have the ancient Canaanites, Hittites, Phoenicians, etc…’
Wait a sec. As a people? Is that right?
‘Our Patriarch Jacob did not go down to Egypt with the intention of settling there, but merely to sojourn there. They placed task masters over them to oppress them with hard labor. And they built Pitom and Ra’amses as supply centers for Pharaoh.’
They built what?
I thought it was just matzah, not EWWWW Matzah.
Jesus Christ. No wonder everyone is allowed to drink more wine on this holiday. I need something to take the edge off. The stress that’s induced from having to read properly in front of everyone is making me sweat! (and that’s just the English part!)
Traditionally, we learn that there are four questions asked during the Seder. However, when you’re unpolished you make up a 5th question.
Move over Wise, Wicked, Simple and The Child Who Doesn’t Know How To Ask. There’s a new kid in town!
The Unpolished Child says:
On all other nights we say the words normally. Why on this night, do we throw in a few more syllables?
On all other nights we say the word BLESSED (one syllable) but on this night we say BLEH-SID (two syllables!)
On all other nights we say Israel (two syllables) but on this night we say Yis-Rah-El (three syllables!)
See? The Unpolished child makes a good point!
The Unpolished Seder
My Seder this year is gonna be unpolished, to say the least. Now that I’m the parent I kinda make up my own rules. We’re not really having a traditional Seder. To be perfectly honest, it’s not even a Seder at all but we are making our own traditions and creating our own memories that I hope my kids will remember for years to come.
It may not be the way Rabbi What’s-His-Name would do it, but it’s my way!
I’m guessing we’ll review the story of Passover. We just might sing a few songs. We’ll sure as hell sip the shit out of our wine glasses and dip back in not once but twice and most likely trice to keep the vino flowing! We’ll discuss the ten plagues. Then I’ll announce that I’ve officially added an eleventh plague to the list, that being none other than the unpolished plague of laundry!
The kids will inevitably want to find the hidden matzah. You know, it’s called the afikomen. I plan to hide the afikomen in a pile of folded laundry. That way, either they will never find it since they never help to put their clothes away, OR…. if they want to win the prize that is associated with finding the afikomen, they will have to put their clothes away! Either way, the choice is theirs! I think it’s an unpolishedly brilliant idea, if I do say so myself!
Soooooo, the brisket is in the oven. The broccoli casserole is prepped. The matzah balls have been purchased and picked up. You didn’t expect that I would make matzah balls from scratch did you?
We’re gonna eat. We’re gonna drink; then we’re gonna gorge ourselves on rainbow cookies for dessert. Yup, that almond paste is kosher for Passover! Pretty awesome, right?
And tomorrow….. We’re gonna do it all over again as we eat, drink and watch the NCAA Final Four. Again, it’s not exactly the most conventional or traditional of Seders, but we’re gonna continue the traditions as best we know how. We’re gonna continue the traditions, unpolishedly!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…. It doesn’t have to be Passover to have an open door policy. My door is always unlocked and open for anyone to “pass over” and break bread (or matzah) with us. The guard at our front gate knows to allow in not just Elijah but any of our unpolished peeps! It’s no fun dipping or sipping alone, so when I dip and sip, I want you to dip and sip too so that we can dip and sip together!
When I dip you dip we dip. When I sip you sip we sip!