The Unexpected Seder

The seder plate we received as a wedding present - post by Jessica

Since we started dating, R and I have spent at least part of every Passover seder together, generally at his parents house. However, in January of last year, my father in law (FIL) had successful shoulder surgery, a month after successful back surgery. After two successive surgeries like that, you can imagine that the recovery time was not short. As FIL explained the recovery process over dinner at the local kosher Israeli place after his first follow-up appointment for the shoulder, I realized that we were going to have a problem with Passover. Traditionally, FIL had done most of the preparation, and MIL didn’t have extra time to chip in, since she was still working at her very demanding full-time job.

So, if he couldn’t prepare and we don’t live close enough to do it for them, how were we going to have seder? The options looked uninviting, and most involved spending the holiday away from my husband’s parents. I started considering the viability of hosting the seder in our apartment. Given what I wrote on Thursday about our first Passover, you might be surprised that I even considered it. There were some things working in our favor, however. One of them was that my new job was a lot less stressful, and although it didn’t free up any time, it freed up A LOT of mental energy. The second was that we’d be able to get the seder catered through the Hillel that my husband works for. The cook was already making meals for several seders, and he said that if he was paid, he was willing to make another one for us.  There were other motivations – hosting a seder sounded like the good kind of challenge, and it would be a chance to make our dream of writing our own Hagaddah a reality. And we’d be able to use our seder plates – one we’d bought for ourselves and one given to us as a gift.

The Hagadda, in particular, meant it was a lot of work, but there were other issues we faced. One of the big downsides of having the seder at our place verses my in laws was that my parents were too far away to attend. We also had to work in our incredibly tiny kitchen, which meant borrowing a mini-fridge from Hillel just to have enough space to store all the seder food. On the day of the seder, we had my in-laws working (FIL was just out of his sling and doing great) and my friend E came over early to help out. There were eggs to boil, gefilte fish to put out, tables to assemble and set… Once we sat down to the seder, with the Haggadot we’d made ourselves, and had a really fantastic seder with a lot of people we really enjoyed having there – all the craziness was worth it!

On Thursday – I’ll tell you all about the Haggadah we wrote!

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