FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 16, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 41
How strange these times
are. But somehow each
of us has found a way to
carry on one day at a time.
When friends and family and
colleagues call and start asking
“when will it end?” or “what will
happen?” I put my hand on my
hip and feel like the character
from “Gone with the Wind.” In
the heat and fi res of the civil war,
Scarlett O’Hara says fi rmly, “I’ll
worry about that tomorrow!”
And that’s how I’m living my life,
dealing with everything one day
at a time.
I adored one of those days,
when my family virtually joined
together for a Passover seder
that I enjoyed with my wonderful
children and grandchildren.
My daughter Samantha had
invited my son Josh and his family
to live with her, having eight
people under the same roof.
Sami had found “Out of the
Box” creations who produced a
virtual Haggadah prayer book,
that we used at the seder (a dinner
with prayers that tells the
story of Passover), a tradition
going back centuries.
Th e story of Passover — the
freeing of the Israelites from
slavery in Egypt — has been
retold in my house for as long as
I can remember.
While going through old photo
albums, now that I have some
extra time, I found the photo of
me as a little girl sitting with my
parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins
at a crowded table set up in the
living room to accommodate my
extended family. My mom and
my aunt Sophie switched holding
the seder dinners on the fi rst and
second nights of Passover.
I still remember my dad giving
me his “look” — he never raised
his voice — to silence me when I
giggled with my cousins during
what seemed like an endless ceremony.
Sixty years later, with my
six young grandchildren, decorum
is almost out the window
during the service portion of the
dinner. I gathered my little family
who live with me, my daughter
Elizabeth and her children
Jonah and Addy and we placed
her computer on the large dining
room table, connecting with
Sami’s table of eight. Using the
virtual prayer book, we were all
on the same “page!”
Both families ate a similar traditional
menu: chicken soup
with matzoh balls, gefi lte fi sh,
chopped liver, baked chicken,
brisket, vegetables and puddings.
But before we could eat, we had
to recite the prayers.
A powerful part of the seder is
when we dip our pinky into the
bitter wine to remind us of the 10
plagues (water turning to blood,
frogs, lice, fl ies, livestock pestilence,
boils, hail, locusts, darkness,
and the killing of fi rstborn
children) that God sent down on
the Egyptians to force them to
free the Jews.
For me, a fun part of the seder
is searching for the afi koman,
a piece of matzah (unleavened
bread) that is hidden in
the house for children to fi nd,
symbolizing the Jews’ journey
through the desert on their fl ight
from Egypt on their way to the
“Promised Land,” which would
be known as Israel.
Th e seder couldn’t be completed
without the afi koman
and aft er eating dinner the kids
searched for where I hid it. Jonah
and Addy ran feverishly through
the ground fl oor competing for
what they knew would be a cash
Jonah, to Addy’s deep despair,
found the afi koman hidden
behind the clock on the mantle,
but I ended up giving each of
them a prize!
Every year, for all my life, I’ve
celebrated the Passover seder
with my family and friends. And
while this year was diff erent, all
that mattered was that we were
virtually together and healthy.
To all my dear readers, I send
along warm wishes for a healthy
holiday for you, too.
tweet me @vschneps
A new way to celebrate the holiday
I did a drive-by to visit Josh with his son
Hudson and daughter Sloane.
An example of a seder plate.
Samantha, Spencer, Morgan, and Blake, seen through the window of my car.