The Accidental Seder (Phlegm isn’t a Plague?)

I know it's hard to believe, but I do have some Jew-y stuff in my house!

It all started a couple of years ago, when my hubby, kids and I were visiting my sister and her fam over Spring Break.  Okay, wait…it started a couple of weeks before that – when my awesome friend, Mitch, was reeling from disbelief that I’d never seen the movie, “The Ten Commandments.”  The one with the NRA enthusiast and the King of Siam?  Correctly deducing that this meant I was a horrible Jew and had not actively been passing on critical knowledge (not to mention that great movie) to my children  he launched into an interrogation consisting of questions like, “Does Emma know what the word ‘kosher’ means?”  and “Does Nicky know how to spell Chanukkah?” or questions of that nature.  (By the way…no, and no.)  I said, “Oy, leave me alone, already!” and he backed off.

So, a couple of weeks later, having dinner at my sister’s house, I relayed this silly interaction between me and Mitch.  I said, “Can you believe he was FREAKING out that I’d never seen ‘The Ten Commandments?’”  Both Rachel (my sister) and Gary (her husband) put down their forks, looked at me in disbelief, and said, “You’ve NEVER SEEN ‘The Ten Commandments????”  “Come on!”  “Yes, you have!!!”  “You MUST have!!!”  Sigh.  No.  Maybe parts of it, but I don’t recall ever seeing the movie in its entirety.  “But…it’s like… a Passover TRADITION!”  To which my son (then 11) asked, “What’s ‘The Ten Commandments?”  We told him it was a famous movie telling the story of Moses and the story behind Passover.  To which he replied…

…”What’s Passover?”

Hooooo boy.  The jig was up.  Judgement day was here.  I’d officially failed as a Jew-mom.  Stammering, trying to regain any pathetic sense of Jewish street cred I may have had, I started telling him and Emma (the youngest had hopefully left the table by now…) the story of Passover.  Rachel and Gary, bless their hearts, jumped in to try to help me.  Let’s be honest, though.  Those two suffer from Jew-deficiency as much as I do, though they HAD, clearly, seen “The Ten Commandments.”  I appreciated the effort, though, and I needed all the help I could get.

We stumbled through what we remembered of the story, and how Jews celebrate and honor the holiday of Passover.  In our large, multi-generational seders growing up, I was the second youngest, and always read the 4 questions (in English, because who knew how to read Hebrew, for Christ’s sake?).  This was years later, and I confess to not remembering them all.  Do I get a pass because I was past 40?

Then there was the matter of the ten plagues.  Here we improvised, remembering what we could, and filling in the rest with things like “Phlegm,” “Unruly Cowlicks,” and “Loss of internet connection,” or something equally ridiculous.

We were able to explain with some credibility why Jews eat Matzoh, and why slavery is wrong, and asked Nicky if he wanted to hear any more about Passover.

“Not really,” he said and shrugged, so we changed the subject.  Dinner went on, the kiddos meandered off, and it slowly dawned on me that it was one of the nights of Passover.  I said, verrrrry quietly to Rachel, Gary and Dave, “Don’t look now, but I think we may have just sorta had a seder…”  They were all, “Hey, yeah!”  You know, a seder in the sense that it was one of the eight nights of Passover, and we  told the kids the Passover story as best we knew how and for as long as they would listen.

We may have been eating pizza, I’m not sure, but who cares?

p.s.  I still haven’t seen “The Ten Commandments.”

An Apology to Street Harrassers
Weight Just a Minute…
An Apology to Street Harrassers
Adele Pisses off Musical Royalty
  • Susanne Ogaitis-Jones

    I love it your comments; too funny! (I can relate– I’d probably have a similar experience trying to tell the details of the whole Easter story to my kids, despite my Catholic upbringing and my current sometimes-church-going status).

  • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

    Bwah! Nice to know I’m not alone… :)

  • chickymara

    A seder cloaked in pizza is better than no seder at all. If it makes you feel any better, my husband calls the seder a ‘dinner party’, Our seders last maximum 30 minutes, during which time we yell things out at each other like: ‘careful EEEElijah is coming’, and ‘dip, dip it NOW’, while we throw pieces of horseradish at each other. My 36 year old sister has to read the four questions because none of our heathen children know any hebrew at all.

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Hehe. Dip it NOW. Heheheheh… ;) For the record, heathen children rock!

  • Leslie Fuquinay Miller

    I’m ashamed. While I’m drinking my Resurrection tonight, I will tsk tsk you a lot.

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Looking forward to it. I haven’t had enough guilt lately… :D

  • HSaboMilner

    I have also never seen the Ten Commandments. But I loved Ben-Hur – still counts, right?

    One year my son opened the door for Elijah – and in walked the next door neighbor, rather drunk from his 4 cups of wine.

    I am stealing an expression from this post. Jew-deficiency. Love it.

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      It’s a real condition, right????

      About your neighbor? Hahahahaha!!! I wonder how long he was standing there before your son opened the door?

      • HSaboMilner

        I don’t know who was more shocked – him or us!!

        Yes, Jew-deficiency is a definite syndrome, only cured by constant exposure to Gefilte Fish and Adam Sandler…. (oy)

        • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

          What kind of exposure to Adam Sandler? (ba da bum!)

          • HSaboMilner

            OMG I just snortled OUT LOUD in the library. You will get me banned.

          • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

            I live to serve. And serves ‘em right for not bringing you coffee.

  • Pingback: Tradition…. Tradition. Passover at Our House «()

  • Joy Sharp

    This is a riot! And phlegm is surely a plague. As are pantyhose.

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Agreed about the pantyhose! And, thanks, girlie…

      • HSaboMilner

        Pantyhose must have been invented by men. I think they should be made to wear them – then they would be banned forever. In my community most women wear pantyhose even in the summer – bare legs are offensive. My legs – they are so gorgeous that no one can dare be offended by them, and if they are, well then, I will take those pantyhose and wrap them around that person’s neck and squeeze until they cough up some phlegm. (see what I did there? lol)

        • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

          I do! I see what you did, there! And I totally agree about everything – including your legs. :*

  • Rachel Lirtzman Fogel

    HHHMMMWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Aliza- those three fake

    commandments alone are the reason that you are a writer. Frickin hilarious!

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post


  • Nina Badzin

    Oy! You have to see it!!! It’s classic.

    So glad to find you on FB today!

    • Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Maybe I’ll watch it tonight, since I’m not having a seder!

  • Nina Badzin

    You have to see it! It’s your Passover assignment!

  • Pingback: Tradition…. Tradition. Passover at Our House()