Miriam Feder home


A Sweet Sentimental Passover, 2014-5775

Come to the Seder, wherever you are: a refreshing call for wanderers, strangers, Jews and non-Jews. Regenerate your spirit in the well of life, growth, spring and renewal. Celebrate the wine, the light, the food and the sharing, tell the story and sing the songs. Offer the traditions of family or the thoughts that happen to stream through your head as you open your mind and step boldly into the sea of reeds, ready to strip away the chains, ready to embrace a new layer of freedom. Go forth from slavery, from oppression, from the narrow places of your head, your heart, or your circumstances. Celebrate the season of freedom, rebirth, and sweetness.

This year I caught up with my two very favorite ever family-of-choice Seders in Portland. I remembered fondly last year, celebrating as a stranger in a strange land—Cambodia—with Cambodian friends and AJWS volunteers. Together we went forth and we reflected upon a celebration of freedom in a land that longs for freedom and that longs to live comfortably among the nations of the world.

Our services this year and last reflected the traditions of old and the thoughts, feelings and creativity of the present. They each offered delicious feasting with sweets and matzoh balls (floaters, all.) This year’s chocolate and carmel-coated matzohs and new carmel sandwiched and dipped macaroons ought to compete with last year’s chili-laced chocolates. I would be delighted to officiate.

This year it was delightful to see the old friends, the only-at-Passover friends, hear the old and new annotations to the old story to think about the children off at college and about to leave for college.

As we look to the future—next year in Jerusalem—or as Israeli guests quipped—next at someone else’s house—I am also flooded with the past: the Seder table I was so fortunate to share in Singapore in 1982; my Father’s Kiddish, a heartfelt, raspy Tenor; Aunt Mae’s Seder, where I must recite the four questions as the perpetual youngest and my own Seder that got sidetracked by a lizard who fearfully lost his tail as the youngest guest gave a too-enthusiastic greeting. Don’t we love Passover the best?

from Report 8 and At My Passover Table