The Stein Family Haggadah

5 Apr

Exodus feels like the wrong word. It’s too old-fashioned. Too biblical. What I love about the Stein family Haggadah, is that we breeze through the ol’timey stuff pretty quick. Sure we love to sing Dai Dai Yenu as much as the next family…and the Four Questions are always a good time. But, our Seder isn’t about the past.

We are Orange on the Seder Plate Jews. Our Seder is Uncle Bob (a goy) reading I Have A Dream. It is my father, in his most child-delighting storytelling voice (which I am pleased to know he will bring out far more often these days, now that he has grandchildren to entertain) reading from chain letters and commencement addresses…telling us to always buy lemon-aid from children hocking it on the street corner, and quoting John Lenon “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”

We hide the matzo, same as any family. But Dad does something different…a genius twist on old tradition…by handing out two checks to the lucky matzo-finders (Uncle Lew winds up hiding about 30 pieces a year, so everyone gets to find at least a one…we occassionally find some, dated in pen, years later)…The checks are not made out to anyone. You can give one or both to charity, one or both to yourself. It’s on you. The lesson is clear, even if many checks have gone shamefully uncashed/donated. Give at least as much to yourself as you do to others. It’s nice to think about the future Passovers, when my siblings and I will carry out this tradition when we take up the seder hosting duties full-time.

Reflecting on this spirit I think its appropriate to spend some time this month bearing witness to the new-Exosuses.  I’m going to try to post the sort of things that I think would make it into The Stein Family Haggadah, and ask others to send me things to post as well.



2 Responses to “The Stein Family Haggadah”

  1. Richard K April 5, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Hi Jeff,

    Yes, the Stein Family Seder is something special, as is the Stein Family. Roberta & I as relatively new members of your extended family feel privileged to be part of that family.

    Life happens & time passes, and comments which should have been sent are left unsaid. I love your writings which express so much caring for those you have chosen to help, by being there. The article your friend Chelsea wrote regarding the current budget debate in Congress was right on.

  2. Mom April 8, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    Wow, you get. And more layers than even we knew were there. I love seeing our life through your lense.

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