|Not this year.|
When my wife told me we would not be hosting Passover this year, my immediate reaction was a pout almost presidential in its historical inaccuracy.
“But they had Passover in Auschwitz!” I complained.
Meaning that holding the Seder in tough times is what Jews do. Jews don’t cave. We don’t throw tradition to the wind just because there are Crusaders or Cossacks or coronavirus or whatever prowling around outside. Because there’s always something trying to get us. We persevere. We must do Passover, which begins Wednesday evening, or else COVID-19 wins.
In my defense, this was a historical age ago — so very mid-March 2020 — before almost everybody wrapped their heads around the enormity of this crisis. Before my wife said, in essence: We are not killing our aged relatives for a festive meal. Before I checked history and found that while a few mumbled prayers might have been said in a few camps, it wasn’t like they were ladling out the chopped liver in the Nazis’ main death factory. A nice story, but, like the Exodus itself, only a story.
Besides, we are having a Seder. We just aren’t inviting anybody, no relatives hullooing into the house hauling trays covered in foil. No Bob handing me cigars. No Alan leafing extra prayers and readings into the Haggadah.
No crowd in the foyer, no logjam in the kitchen. No clatter, no crash, no strangers invited by a cousin. No babies to coo over nor any kindergartner to emerge beaming from beneath the dining room table, like a mermaid up from the depths, face aglow at her own naughtiness.
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