On Pesach and remembering

April 10, 2017

Dear Max and Rebecca

Yesterday I made kneidlach (matzah balls), using my late granny Renee’s recipe. I love her recipe because it yield’s firm kneidlach, which is what I prefer. My granny Elza used to make kneidlach too – soft and fluffy, and like so many things in life, a preference for a certain type of kneidel is a given. In fact, at every Pesach table I imagine families discuss their kneidlach, while adding cinnamon, salt or sugar to theirs, according to their taste.

Yesterday I remembered my gran vividly, and celebrating Pesach every year at their house. I remember the smell of matzah meal as she prepared the kneidlach. I remember the place cards (on pieces of paper) that I used to help put in the right places. I remember a long set up with the cousins, my grandpa leading the service at the head of the table. I remember the tunes of the songs that have lasted generations and years. I remember shyly singing the Four Questions every year, begging my older brother to join in (I don’t think he did), being encouraged by my family, ignoring my tone-deaf voice (even then I knew I wasn’t choir material).

There is not a Pesach that I don’t think about these seders, and how they imparted a strong sense of family and tradition, and how the story of slavery to freedom was told so beautifully through my grandpa’s words, through the tunes that we all somehow just know, and through the family taking turns to do readings.

I’m sorry you both missed out on these, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to provide such special celebrations that connect a family with our history so strongly.

What I can do in future though is tell the story, sing (badly), and make kneidlach hopefully like granny did. I’m pretty sure that if she was still around today, she would encourage you guys to not only eat one, but two. And that if you turned her down, she might ask if you were sick (I remember I once declined her roast potatoes, which she thought was very strange, and asked if I was ill).

May we always remember the generations before us, and emulate their good. May we never forget our history, and may we keep telling the stories. May we always hum, or sing out aloud the songs of our forefathers, and may we always remember them.


Pesach: Shutterstock


Feature image via Shutterstock

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  • Cassey

    I love how food is so often at the heart of good memories and traditions.

    April 10, 2017 at 5:46 pm Reply
  • Heather

    I’m sure you will make your own traditions xxx

    April 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm Reply
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