Passover is my favorite holiday of the entire year: a gorgeous meal with friends and family as we elaborately retell a thousands-year old story around the table. Some of my favorite holiday foods make their only appearance during year only at the seder table. Passover starts in just over a week and we’re already busy making preparations. Every year since we moved to Massachusetts, we’ve hosted a big seder for our local friends.
This year, our Passover celebration takes on an extra level of joy as we welcome the newest member of our family to the seder table: our son, Judah. It’s one of those magical moments for which my husband and I have been waiting a long time.
I didn’t grow up Jewish and yet, Passover has been a part of my life for more than half of my life. One of the first meals I ever shared with my husband and his family was around the Passover seder table, when we were still just high school sweethearts. There are so many traditions that surround the holiday that it’s just really taken on a special significance for us – we go all out!
Part of the Passover seder includes reading from a special book called the hagaddah, that retells the story of Moses and the Exodus of the Jewish people from ancient Egypt. When we hosted our first seder together and well before we ever had Judah, Larry and I specifically bought a hagaddah that’s family-friendly for young children, loaded with songs and extra learning and discovery activities. We bought these family-oriented hagaddahs with the intention of creating our own family traditions around the seder table.
Passover is a very child-centric holiday, as it relates the importance of passing on our traditions to the next generation. One of the highlights of the seder is the Four Questions, asked by the youngest child. While we still have a few years before Judah will be singing them for the first time, it’s an exciting time as new parents bringing their newest family member to the Passover table just the same.
For me, I see Judah’s seat at the table – his high chair, really – as symbolic of so many new beginnings as a family of three, as Team Zoll. I look forward to a creating a lifetime of magical memories around the Passover table, of forging our own traditions while incorporating the traditions of our families, like Nan’s Passover rolls or Nana’s matzo balls.
We can’t wait to sing our favorite songs (Dayenu, anyone?), eat our special foods, and tell ancient tales and act out stories thousands of years old as we welcome Judah into his first real family tradition around our Passover table.