THE KOSHER VEGAN; “NO MEAT, NO WHEAT”
“There will be frogs”
I am so grateful my kids really embrace this holiday. I can count on them each year to participate and ask their questions, drink the four cups, partake of the festive meal, resume the Seder after dinner, and sing until the very end. But luckily, they can also allow themselves to have fun. I think it is a requirement. As we cover all the points in the Hagaddah and follow the Halacha as much as we possibly can, we try to incorporate some feature, and it’s different every year, that makes our family Seder uniquely ours.
In my mind, this is a ritual that began around 1998, at a family Seder at my sister Sunny’s house in South Philly. My kids were young then, and my brothers and their families were also at Sunny’s seder that year. Well, Aunt Sunny introduced a great hands on approach; she gave the kids props and asked them to act something out that would reflect the Passover story. This all happened very spontaneously: the kids decided to make David, our youngest, be Moses. They put him into a wicker basket, and floated baby “Mobus” down the Nile. His siblings and cousins pushed him along the floor, passing him from hand to hand until one hand snatched the basket and the baby to live with her in the palace. Slowly, each one of the kids related some small piece of the Passover story that took the Jews from slavery to freedom, in what was a very ingenious way to get them involved. We’ve tried, in subsequent years, to include a bit of fun and perhaps an out of your seat experience that will keep the evening lively and be something each of our family members and friends will (hopefully), remember fondly.
Over the years, we’ve watched our children act out many clever re-enactments of the Passover story. Following my sister’s lead, I gathered my own assortment of dress up clothes and other hazarai. When she was in middle school, my talented daughter Ilana, who is the oldest of the Samlin cousins (that’s my side of the family), had the idea (spontaneously, of course) that all the cousins should act out “The Brady Bunch Leaves Egypt.” She devised the script on the spot, dressed each of her siblings and cousins to play their parts, and spurred them on their journey from slavery to freedom. I still remember my nephew Warren dressed as Alice leading the children as they approached The Red Sea; he was nothing short of hysterical, with his short wig half cocked, his (then) high pitched voice, and the true to form Alice hands-on- hips stance…
So what was it this year? I’ll give you a hint: it involved a variation on the big ten. Not basketball. Plagues. When the kids were young, the standard bag of plagues was a novelty that definitely kept the kids happy and amused. Why didn’t we have any of this when I was growing up? Check back for pictures of this year’s fun filled and colorful variation on a theme.
A couple of years ago, Emily wanted frog molds for Passover that we found on Amazon. She’s given us green jello frogs one year, and chocolate frogs the next. And this year, once again there were frogs.