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  • Marvin Sossin


Actualizado: 4 sept 2023

- Bulletin, April 1989 -

Pesach is my favorite Jewish festival of the year. My warmest memories are of Pesachs

past. 1 was brought up with my maternal grandparents. My father was off to w'ar ; my mother

worked in a garment factory. First seder was always in the home of my grandparents ; the base for a family of 8 children and over 20 grandchildren.

Pesach was a time when everyone had an active and well defined part to play. The children

had to read the “Feer Kashas” and follow the Haggadah from start to finish. That is if you didn’t fall asleep by the 3rd cup of wine. And of course the constant tension and anticipation of beating your cousins to the treasured afikoman; that is if you could evade the wary, watchful eyes of Zaida.

The women cooked, prepared, gossiped, and served. The men dovened. And Zaida was

the leader. It was a time when the man of the house was truly a king. Or dictator. His way was The w'ay to conduct a Seder. It was a highly individualistic performance.

Second Seder w'as at my paternal grandparents. He was a “Schochet” (Kosher slaughterer)

and ultra religious. He was much stricter and everything had to be just so. I remember there was always a cousin of his about the same age who was always present at these seders. He sat at his left and was constantly arguing over how to and where to and when to. But Zaida always prevailed. After all it was his castle.

They were times to remember. My grandfather, Sholom, had no legs for the last 60 years

of his life. But at Pesach time, he was a giant and commanded great respect.

Pesach always represented to me a time to remember back how it was w'hen Jews were

slaves in Egypt and how lucky we were to live in liberty and a free society. We could sit reclining against soft cushions to remind us how easy we were having it compared to ancient times.

The ironic part, as I look back, is that in reality, these were the years of the holocaust in

Europe and rife anti-Semitism at home.

Now, as I prepare to observe Pesach here in Costa Rica, 1 am again infused with that warm,

anticipatory feeling. So many of the participants of the old days are gone. Fond memories. But I am part of another family now. A family I treasure and love to share with. B’nei Israel. And I have children and grandchildren to share with. I can be a leader of a seder in my house.

And I live in a country and time when a Jew can live his life in a Jewish tradition and not

worry. Costa Rica is truly a land of peace and freedom.

So come, my friends, my children, my “einiclach”. Come to the table and let us celebrate

Pesach together anew - as in times of old.

Marvin Sossin

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