Thank you, Kathryn for creating a wonderful Passover Seder.  It was an amazing blend of sacred and contemporary, fulfilled all the requirements of an ordered dinner and brought so much laughter that my cheeks hurt at the end of the night.  28 people sitting at three tables changed the dining and living rooms of her apartment into one large banquet hall full of joy and good humor.  Packed shoulder to shoulder were friends that had known each other for years, friends who knew each other casually and those who had never met.  There were 1 African-American, three Native Americans and 1 Brit which, after a time, began to seem like the beginning of a raunchy Passover joke while at the same time making complete sense and everyone was dressed like they were going to a smart New York cocktail party which is an amazing feat in the granola eating town where I live. And with all those people, the first Hebrew phrase we were taught by our diminutive hostess was “Ok, everyone shut up!”.  It was said with a smile and we all took it with good humor.  It definitely got a workout and is probably all that the neighbors could understand of the whole thing.

Kathryn and her family had created hand-made Haggadah (Passover guidebooks for the non-jewish) which came in colors because class participation was required and each color had a particular part to play.  Thankfully she ignored our attempts to pronounce the Yiddish, provided English translations, and walked us through each step and the symbology involved.  One of the best parts of the evening was the reenactment of the Biblical passover story starting with Moses.  Using props and homemade masks a crew of four became Egyptians, Jews, baby Jews, (there seem to be quite a few of those because of that ‘be fruitful and multiply thing’), the Nile, and all 10 plagues.  Some of the highlights included Moses living in his reed basket throughout his entire life, the Nile forgetting whether it was water or a drowning Egyptian, and the mask for the First Born children being creepier than the death that was taking it away.  In a space about 3’x4′ they did an excellent job.  Congrats.

The evening ended with a wonderful toast, with respect to the Israel that is, that hoped for the Israel that could be or could live up to it’s promise.  An Israel that accepted and supported the truly dispossessed, the slave, the down trodden, those who have not, and can do so without taking from others.

Everyone had a marvelous time and the party was continuing on even as I left to spare my face from any further smiling.  Cheers, Kathryn.  Happy Passover.