Tag: celebration

From Order to Chaos


“On Passover, we create order to lose order. On this night, we balance between order and chaos, between organizing the Seder with a set chronology and in concrete stages and then telling a messy story that gets interrupted and upended with all of our commentary. It is a story of injustice and triumph, of human strain and divine salvation, of hesitation and progress. Of course, it must be told in fits and starts.” — Dr. Erica Brown

You have not been to a “real” seder in its most glorious and celebratory form unless you have attended a seder at the @iwe home . . .

Squeals of delight as children play on the climber punctuate the solemn and heartfelt melodies that rest on our hearts; laughter permeates the room as a familiar line of a recitation is transformed into a delightful and unique understanding; I hum the now familiar melodies when I sometimes get lost in the Hebrew singing of prayers; a multitude of dishes fill the dining table as I eat far too much indulging in the fabulous Pesach recipes (made almost entirely by iwe)—corned beef, four kinds of chicken, zucchini latkes, potatoes, carrot souffle, roasted peppers and mushrooms—and at least ten other dishes to choose from; Mrs. iwe works to hold the entire process together; guests who speak Spanish, English, Hebrew, who tell their life stories and listen attentively to each other. . . songs sung in harmony that call us to sway gently with our souls; a recital of the exodus from Egypt, probably a chaotic and confusing march, punctuated by G-d’s miracles . . .  expressions of gratitude to G-d for our arriving at this day . . . and laughter, always laughter, as we remember that we were once slaves, and we are now free. . .

A Time for Mourning


When a peaceful protestor was recently shot dead by a member of Antifa, the news was spotty at first. The reports went out that it was an Antifa member who was killed, and the left-wing crowds gathered to riot. Instead, the news was clarified that an Antifa member killed a Trump supporter. The Antifa members were proud. They said the man deserved it for being a “Fascist,” and that murdering him was merely, “taking out the trash.”

The Antifa member who murdered him fled across state lines. Federal Marshals attempted to arrest him. He did not comply, and fired at the Marshals. They returned fire, and now he is dead. Let us not make the same mistake Antifa made. Yes, he was a violent man and an assassin who died violently resisting arrest. He did not have to die, but he chose to resist arrest with a firearm. It was his choice. It was a bad choice. We can acknowledge these truths without celebration. We can be better than to say something similar to what Antifa members said about his victim.

[Member Post]


When interviewer Marissa Meyer of “The Happy Writer”, a podcast that focuses on writers, asked how Leah Johnson, debut YA author of You Should See Me in a Crown, celebrates accomplishments, Leah answered that she buys sunglasses and suits and goes to restaurants.  A moment later, Leah downplayed these things by saying that she tries […]

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The Men’s and Women’s March


You mean you haven’t heard of the Men’s and Women’s March? You must have been living in a cave! Or you suddenly realize that no one has ever thought to organize such an exciting and significant event. And that it’s long overdue.

One notable freedom we have in this country is the freedom of assembly, which includes marches and protests. We have many of them, large and small, sometimes one-time events, sometimes annual demonstrations. To get a sampling, go here. We tend to see mostly Leftist demonstrations (notably the Right to Life is an exception), whose values mostly conflict with the values of the Right. So I propose it’s time to have a march that speaks to the men and women of this country, their traditional views and values.

Next Year in Jerusalem!


I had no sooner walked through the front door with Son #1 when I was attacked and hugged by a delighted child, Son #5. I have never, ever been greeted so enthusiastically, anywhere. Son #5 had seen me the past two years when I went to the @iWe home for the Passover/Pesach celebration. He was either very pleased to see me (or was counting on my reading him some stories during my stay). Then Son #1 instructed him matter-of-factly to take my carry-on bag and backpack up to my room, two and one-half flights up. And this same Son #5, uncoached, pulled out my chair for me at the Seder meals. Did I mention he is seven years old and 4’1” tall (so he tells me)?

When I entered the iWe home, I had entered the space of timelessness and antiquity, of celebration and remembering the suffering in leaving the slavery of Egypt. This Pesach celebration, like the past two years, was a time of sweetness, poignancy, history, and memories. The iWe family takes both seriously and joyfully their celebration of Pesach, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else to connect to my Jewish roots with both moments of sadness and much happiness.

Although I’ve only been to one other orthodox Seder, I believe iWe when he says theirs is not the ordinary Seder. We follow the order of the meal (seder means order), but everyone is encouraged to ask any question about Pesach. Silly questions don’t earn a piece of candy, but good questions do. I even asked a pretty good question this year, and iWe kindly acknowledged its relevance (although I suspect he says that to all his guests). The three oldest boys carried on a fascinating discussion about one portion of the Exodus story, running up and down the stairs to bring Jewish source books to back up their arguments. Their joy in possibly identifying a new way of looking at this 3,000-year-old story was palpable. (It’s hard to know if anyone outside the room would have accepted their theory, but it was very bright and creative.) And the singing, ah, the singing. When iWe sings with his older boys in sweet harmony, we are all transported to a time of deserts, hardship, freedom, and joy.