As a child, I loved everything about the way my family celebrated Passover. I couldn’t wait until it was time for my sisters and me to carefully prep, measure, and then mix all of the sweet-smelling ingredients as we “helped” my grandmother make charoset (a dish of apples, nuts, and spices that symbolizes the mortar the Israelite slaves used to build Egyptian structures).
I eagerly anticipated the first night of Passover, knowing that as my family gathered, we would find that the dining room had been transformed into a beautiful seder table filled with small mementos from past generations. As the seder (the festive holiday meal) began, I would flip ahead in the haggadah (the prayer book used during the seder) looking for my favorite illustrations. And, after we finished eating our meal, which included matzah ball soup, gefilte fish (my grandmother’s rule was and continues to be “You don’t have to eat all of it, but you have to try some of it”), brisket, and more, my sisters and I would begin to bounce in our seats because we knew that it was almost time to begin the search for the afikomen (a Greek word for a piece of matzah that had been broken and hidden earlier in the service).