Passover starts tonight, and in my house that means a full house, a full table, family and friends. As holidays go, it isn’t my personal favorite – a little too structured for my taste. But it is certainly a holiday that stands out, defines our household as Jewish, and that is good. And it continues the traditions from both my and my husband’s families.
This year we are a little on the smaller side – we are seating 30 (it was 29 until a few hours ago when we added one…). I say smaller because last year we had 45. This is quite the feat when the entire house is under 1500sf. Furniture goes to live in the garage, tables get arranged, chairs are borrowed. But I wouldn’t cut back on our guest list for the world. Both sides of the family – everyone in town. Friends who ARE family. And always, always, those who for one reason or another have found themselves without a table. There is always room for one more. (Well, last year we managed the one more, but only because one left early…..)
While the dinner might not be what my great-grandparents’ served, and the service is decidedly more relaxed, one thing has not changed. There is always room. There is always enough food. Guests are always welcome. Seder or just Wednesday dinner, that is a perpetual truth at our house.
And for that, I am grateful.
For those of you who celebrate, may you have a holiday of family, friends and joy. Smiles.
There are a few things you should know about me. I’m Jewish, was raised as a Reconstructionist (not many people can say this), and I believe strongly in one of its core tenants, the principle of Tikkun Olam, meaning “repair the world,” as in, one of my purposes in life is to work toward making the world a better place for everyone.
Repairing the world takes many forms. For my family, it means a lot of volunteer work. My grandmother was a life member and volunteer for Na’Amat – her calendar was bursting with meetings and events well into her late 80s. My mother and father were tireless volunteers for the City of Hope – every Thursday night for over 20 years my mom was busy running a bingo game, and the twice annual Lox Box projects were full family events lasting a week or more, and of course there were the casino nights we helped run.
I was a member of Camp Fire growing up and spent many hours volunteering on community service projects. I married a man with similar beliefs who is currently the Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 67in Northbrook. We both volunteer for the countless needs of our synagogue community. And of course, we’ve raised our two boys to volunteer as well.
So, it should come as no surprise to you, that when the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce needed volunteers to help with the annual silent auction and other projects, I stepped up to help. It was just one more thing to give back to those who have helped me, no big deal. However, this year they’ve decided to present me with the Volunteer of the Year award – I am being presented with this on Monday the 3rd – and I am moderately terrified. Getting into the trenches and doing the work – definitely my skill set. Standing up in front of 200 people I don’t know – not so much. Wish me luck!