Passsover at Grandma’s

Seder plateMy personal memory that most symbolizes Passover is the Yellow Pages phone book. Two volumes—one per child—placed atop the formal,wider, seats of Grandma’s dining room chairs—comprised mid-Century booster seats. From the hemlines of usually matching Yom Tov sister dresses sprouted leotarded, patent leather-tipped feeslach. I loved Pesach—Breakstone butter on Matzah with dairy meals,wonderful chicken soup and kneidlach for the sedarim and other hot, meat meals. My Dad’s side of the family would visit, often crowding into Grandma’s apartment. My paternal grandfather, Grandpa, zichrono l’v’’racha (of blessed memory—led both sedarim, but Dad, y’badel l’chaim (distinquish a living person for life -assisted.
Grandpa’s renditions of the Haggadah prayers had no melodies. They were loud chants in Ashkenasi Hebrish. During Y’tziat Mitzraiim, the camels probably sang these chants. The Dromedaries lowed “Echad mi yodeah.” “I know one—while the Bactrian camels doubled down with ‘Shnaiyim ani yodeah!’ I know two.”
I recall that the cool melodies we sang as kids were from afternoon Hebrew School.
My personal memory is that of a kid. Not a kid that considered political zeitgeist or whether anyone was molested during the Exodus. My departed grandparents would be grateful for the innocence their Pesach memories of our family imparted. So am I.
ELLEN FISCHER IS A CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO JLIFE MAGAZINE.

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