Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Passover Story

I don’t know what happens to us after we die. There are a lot of theories and belief, most of which I only believe in when it suits me. I am also very lucky to have lived most of my life without losing anyone I was close too. Two years ago I lost my grandfather, a man who taught me how to play chess and also taught me lots about life, history, art, and the world. I feel its cliché or a lie when people say they can feel their loved ones watching over them, after they pass. But sometimes I can feel him with me. It may sound cheesy but last week I had one of those moments.

It was Wednesday night the first night of Passover. Despite a week of traveling I decided to drive down to Long Island for the Seder. I had been back and forth to Canada days before and Cornell only the night before. I logged close to a thousand miles in four days. I wasn’t going to go but decided I should, because my grandmother asked.

I remember my grandfather leading Seders, growing up. It was the best and the worst of two worlds. He was an amazing speaker and could draw all of the attention in the room to him. He would lead us in prayers; and go through the different stories of Exodus. Telling us about Moses Pharaoh the plagues, and the story of the three sons. Every year he would be something new to add, adding something he read or heard or learned to make the Seder more relevant, more powerful and remind us, that if had not been for Moses we would still be slaves in Egypt.

The downside was his Seders were long, and we were all usually hungry since we couldn’t eat until the service was over. We would savor the breaking of the matzo and the prayer over the unleavened bread it because it was the only food that we would get for the seder, though we did get to drink several glasses of wine.

So since my grandfather passed, my uncle has been leading the service. We hit all of the major points of the holiday but buzz through the service in about a half hour. The service has less gravity but it’s quicker to the grub.

So this year of the four grandchildren there are only two of us, me and my cousin Jeffery. Before the meal my grandmother randomly put out the Passover prayer books. My uncle gets ready to start the Seder when he sees in the margin, notes left by my grandfather. In his handwriting were names next to parts of the prayer noting who should be called on read what. However there were only two notes, two people chosen to read, Jeffery and myself.

Sure you can say it’s coincidence, but I didn’t plan on driving home, and I shouldn’t have been there.

To see that note, and the way it worked out makes me think he’s still with us, still there leading us, a hand from the great beyond point the way - just like the hand of God led Moses and the Israelites through the desert during the Exodus.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a great story, Trevor. Ive had so many experiences like that. Im not sure what happens when we die, either. Im kind of torn between what I logically think and what I feel. Such experiences always guide me toward what I feel and give me a sense of hope, that there is something more to this life, that theres a rhyme and reason to this crazy thing we call life. It comforts me when I need it, and I hope it has done the same for you! Hag Samech! Mazel Tov! (And all those other hebrew sayings we're supposed to say during this time of year)

April 24, 2006 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Jeri said...

Thats a great story, Trevor. Ive had so many experiences like that. Im not sure what happens when we die, either. Im kind of torn between what I logically think and what I feel. Such experiences always guide me toward what I feel and give me a sense of hope, that there is something more to this life, that theres a rhyme and reason to this crazy thing we call life. It comforts me when I need it, and I hope it has done the same for you! Hag Samech! Mazel Tov! (And all those other hebrew sayings we're supposed to say during this time of year)

April 24, 2006 7:40 PM  
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May 02, 2006 9:24 AM  

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