My grandfather Benny was quite a character. Every Passover he would speed through the entire Hagadah and half mumble the Hebrew words in a kind of sing song mumbly chant. When I was little it was both a pleasure and a torture.
My parents would drive us down from upstate New York down to Brooklyn. We would be wearing our most uncomfortable nice clothing and new that we would have to sit for two to three hours before we could eat. The before meal part of the seder seemed to go on forever for a nine year old boy, the smells of the brisket, matzah ball soup and flanken were torture, but then it would be my turn to read the “Ma nish tana” (The four questions).
I may be a lapsed Jew and a secular humanist, but getting together with my friends now that I’m an adult is a bittersweet thing. The service now goes a lot faster but I sure do miss my grandpa and grandma and I sure do love my friends.