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Nash, Edith / Practice the here and now: selected writings of Edith Nash

Nash, Edith
First Seder,   p. 22

Page 22

First Seder22
 I was very drawn to Jewish things. We didn't celebrate any Jewish festivals
at home and never entered a temple or a synagogue. I got a pathfinder badge
from the Girl Scouts when I was an active Scout and one building I had to
locate was the nearest synagogue. No one in the family knew where one was,
and I finally located one in Austin way into downtown, outside the excessively
churched Oak Park.
 One time Mrs. Platt invited my mother to her Seder and my mother brought
me. I was about ten. Where were Father and brothers? Don't know. We drove
to the west side of Chicago, dangerous territory, not like Oak Park. A big
table, lots of family, three rambunctious children, my age and younger. They
didn't listen, they didn't sit still, they complained about the food; I hated
them. I thought the ritual was magic and I sat entranced through the speeches,
the memories, the stories. When the old men ate the horseradish on their
matzoh and tears ran down their cheeks in memory of the slaves in Egypt,
I cried.
 Much later, I learned that the Seder celebrates two events:
the deliverance from Egyptian bondage and thetime of the - barley season.
When my mother and I were planning a recep- tion to follow Philleo's and
my wedding ceremony at home, Mother said, "We'll have to start after sun
down so Mrs. Platt can come." I was amazed at her even noticing any Jewish
Sabbath observance.

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