The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

March 31, 2007

Passover memories resonate

Sam Pollak



"Why is this night different from all other nights?"



That's a question that will be asked in millions of Jewish homes Monday night during a Passover seder _ or festive meal _ in which the story is told of the exodus of the Jews from bondage in Egypt.



The "why is this night different" question precedes four others chanted by the youngest child capable of doing so.



Since I was the youngest kid in my family, I was the one who usually got to (or, more accurately, had to) recite The Four Questions in sort of a sing-song Hebrew.



Maybe it's a symptom of my advancing age, but this year I find myself _ like Charles Dickens' Scrooge haunted by The Ghost of Christmas Past _ caught up in bittersweet memories of Passovers Past.



Some are sad because I miss a world that no longer exists ... if indeed it ever truly existed in anything but a child's perspective.



My ghosts include loved ones who no longer reside in this world, laughter that bounced off the walls, and the feeling of security I got from being part of a large, boisterous family.



"These are but shadows of things that have been," said The Ghost of Christmas Past.



It's the early 1960s, and my grandparents Hymie and Dora Brodsky's apartment on Van Sicklen Avenue in Brooklyn is teeming with their three adult children who brought along their many offspring.



Grandpa is at the head of the table, with his Yiddish-accented voice mumbling some Hebrew prayers before the seder. Grandma is in the kitchen brewing chicken soup so good that I can still taste it.



My parents and every other adult in the place are talking at the same time, with the volume rising by the minute. Absolutely no one is doing any listening.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway

Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Is Israel justified to conduct its military campaign against the Hamas in Gaza?

Yes
No
Undecided/no opinion
     View Results