AshkeSfardi Passover Seder Madness!

“Ima!” cried 3-year old Noam the night before Passover last year. This night is known as Leil Bedikat Chametz where we hide 10 pieces of chametz in various (utterly obscure) places in the home and search for them with a candle and a feather. Guess what? Noam forgot where he hid his piece of chametz. Rest assured that he promised, guaranteed, vowed that he would not forget. I learned from that little episode that I must get every family to write down their hiding place on a scrap of paper (or dictate it to me) immediately prior the searching ceremony! Growing up in a “mixed-marriage” Ashkenazi/Sephardi family, I experienced the best of both worlds on Seder nights. My Abuelo, a short, stout, Spanish-looking man would lead the Sephardic Seder like an army general leads his soldiers. Everything had to be his way, sung in the tune his father and father’s father had sung back in Morocco. Abuela, his faithful, devoted wife, would wash his hands in a regal-looking basin, as a servant would his master, at the Rachtsa part of the Haggadda. My Ashkenazi aunts could not stand all the formality, but as a young child sitting on an utterly regal dining chair hand-crafted with dramatic curves, fine scrollwork, and luxurious upholstery, I felt like a princess in my grandparents’ utterly extravagant mansion. (I didn’t even mention the Amiraglio...

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