April 2016 scroll article

  I  have said it before- Passover is probably my favorite Jewish holiday. I have the greatest memories from our family Seders- the music, the food, the company- and of course, the momentous occasion when I found the afikomen (only once in my 35 years of existence). I remember the first Passover my sister did not attend. She was newly married and went with her husband to celebrate with her in-laws. Oh, we missed her so much! The empty chair reserved for Elijah all of a sudden became Rachel’s chair and a sign of our hope for our whole family to be together again. That is what happens during the course of our lives: as we grow and our circumstances change, so does the way we observe Jewish rituals.
I have not celebrated Passover with my family in five years because of my commitments to Temple Beth Shalom. It has been difficult, but through song, I have found some ways to bring my childhood traditions to our community. I have made a point of teaching the Ladino and Yiddish versions of Chad Gadya and Who Knows One, and of bringing my grandfather’s melodies to our Community Seder. In an attempt to keep my Passover traditions alive for myself, I, inadvertently, have been creating a new tradition for our community. 
That’s how we transmit from one person to another, and from generation to generation. That is how we develop and create our unique connection to our Jewish selves and Jewish ritual. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the Passover experiences we have in our community; either or both the Women’s Seder (April 12th @ 5:30) and the TBS Community Seder (April 23rd @ 5:30). 
Lastly, there are those who are always looking for a place to go for the first Seder .In the Haggadah, we have the directive to invite those who are hungry to eat with us. If your table can seat another person or two, I encourage you to contact the TBS office, so we know who to call if we get a request. 
Chag Kasher v’Sameach- a happy and kosher holiday- and I look forward to singing with you this Passover!
Cantor Dannah Rubinstein