Photo Credit: J. Bernhaut/getty images
When you pack up your things, buy four one way plane tickets, and sell your house to move 3,000 miles across the country, you give up many things. One of the most significant is easy access to extended family on holidays and celebrations.
The distance is tough, especially at first. Happily, though, electronic communication makes keeping in touch relatively easy, and since I moved to a warmer clime (Boston to San Jose), I’ve found visitors tend to pop up regularly, especially during brutal east coast winters.
Passover, which begins tonight, is truly a family holiday, centering on a lovingly prepared meal and lengthy dinnertime retelling of the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. Fortunately, I’ve found a close-knit group of Jewish friends, and we share the Seder meal together every year. They’re my local family now.
Our Seder is always potluck-style, with each of us offering different parts of the traditional meal. One family makes matzoh ball soup; another prepares tsimmes; one family composes the Seder plate; and another brings two kinds of charoset. There’s tons of matzoh, kosher wine, parsley for dipping in salt water, and macaroons for dessert.
If you can’t spend your birthday, or Easter, or Passover with your family, you’re not alone. Spending it with friends is a very, very close second, especially when good food, lovingly prepared, graces the holiday table.