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The prize for finding the afikoman in my house was 5 dollars.
To put this in context, the starting pay for chores at the age of five was a nickel and this rate was raised five cents every birthday.
This means that finding the wrapped up piece of shmura matzo was equivalent to anywhere from 6 months to just under 2 years salary.
Needless to say, this was a coveted reward.
My brother won this purse every year for the first seven years of his life. Unimpeded by siblings, finding the afikoman was merely a formality to the end of the seder. This was until I turned 2, and could walk. Granted, there was a five year age difference between us, but my parents allowed me a handicap. As a toddler, not only was I given a head start, but the adults gently 'guided me' in the direction of the 'hidden napkin' glaringly dangling out of the couch cushion right in front of my face. Some years my brother didn't even get to look. As I got older, and my motor skills more advanced, the competition became fierce. My father took great joy in the hiding. My mother who didn't want the house destroyed came up with two simple rules:1)It could not be in the entertainment center, the dining room, the kitchen, any of the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the garage, or any cabinets and 2)We were not to make a mess, everything had to be cleaned up. What this amounted to was my brother and I gingerly walking around the living room, gently sorting through magazines and under tables. My brother, being the smarter of the two of us, took a detective-like approach to this endeavor. Before looking, he would rule out the places that it couldn't be based on where it had been hidden in years past. Then he would systematically go about the living room removing objects one by one. I however had a much more opportunistic strategy. I would pretend to look for the afikoman very close by him. Right when he found it, I would lunge and seize it, flailing it about in the air, exclaiming victory. With no referee (my parents were in the other room talking to their friends) it was his word against mine and as the younger of two I always got my way.
By the time my sister came into the picture the finding of the afikoman had been split into two age categories. Uninterested in winning Beanie Babies, I opted out of the 'ten and under' search. He may have won it now and a gain, I might have even let him have a few, but for the most part when it came to Passover I was ten dollars richer. The money was of course inevitably squandered on the two vices we were denied: junk food and video games.
With the second cup of wine we remember God’s promise to save the Israelites from the forced labor of the Egyptian taskmasters. With this cup we turn our thoughts to those in our community who have been forced back into the underground economy. We think about the returning citizens among us who so desire a fresh start and a family- sustaining job, but who are forced by society’s discrimination...
As we celebrate the Jewish people’s biblical exodus from Egypt, we remember that there are 60 million displaced people around the world, people fleeing violence and persecution in search of a safe place to call home. We are currently in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
HIAS, the world’s oldest, and only Jewish, refugee resettlement organization, helps refugees find ways to live in...
I Want to Wash My Hands
to the tune of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles
Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something It’s one of God’s commands
When you start the Seder
You need to wash your hands
You need to wash your hands
You need to wash your hands
Oh my what a feeling
Before the paschal lamb
Around our tables sit four daughters:
The wise daughter understands that not everything is as it appears. She is the one who speaks up, confident that her opinion counts. She is the one who can take the tradition and ritual that is placed before her, turn it over and over, and find personal meaning in it. She is the one who can find the secrets in the empty spaces between the letters...
Los 4 hijos son un "simbolo" de pesaj. Esta el Sabio, El Malvado, El Simple y El que no sabe preguntar.
El sabio pregunta: cuales son todas las mitzvhot de pesaj? el mayor responde con todo detalle cada una de ellas
El malvado pregunta: que es esto que hacen ustedes? el padre responde: ustedes!? como que ustedes? si vos tambien sos judio, si no fuese por D'os que nos saco de egipto, no estuvieramos...
The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the centrality of involving everyone in the seder. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us the Four Questions to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions. Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. If...