Freedom can be costly. Lack of freedom can be devastating.
Freedom is such an illusive concept. We all are married to our own interpretations of freedom. To some, money is freedom. To some, love is freedom. Yet others see freedom as simply living in peace.
For me, this past year, freedom was ripped from my heart; the freedom to share in my family’s lives, to touch them, to hug them and most importantly to bask in their beautiful faces.
Last Pesach we shared seder virtually. In 2021 we all look forward to celebrating the freedom Pesach represents, the way Jews have done for thousands of years. This year, Passover will give us back the freedom to sit around the seder table celebrating family, reminding us how precious our freedom is, and to kvell in the bounty we have been given.
For years our family celebrated out on my back screened-in porch. First however, one of my sons in love wrapped the entire porch in plastic to keep the “green yuk” of spring off the tables and food. Seven grandsons and four sons-in-law busied themselves with the setting up all the tables. All the cooking, baking, was and is a family affair. Then of course there was the preparing and decorating of the seder table with my granddaughters. These simple moments of freedom we longed for last year.
Each year I keep a menu, which includes an agenda, our seating arrangements, who would read which passages from the haggadah. We counted, recounted and recounted the number of chairs needed. It usually required us a minimum of three or four times to get it right. We finally completed the counts only to discover we forgot one chair.
We thank those on whose shoulders we stand, who showed us a freedom hard fought and won, a freedom we all enjoy because of those brave Jewish ancestors before us.
Shaindle Schmuckler is an AJT columnist.