"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.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
Let's put a check on 'check engine' light
The absolute worst thing that can befall a driver happened to me on the way to work this morning. The one singular auto event that can send shivers of fear and panic up the spine of even the most seasoned road warrior.Continued ...
- Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks
- 1965 Oscars? Thanks for the memories
- There was just no telling about snow days
- And the music goes round and round
- Let's put a check on 'check engine' light
- Cary Brunswick
Government lost trust by spying on us
Flaws in that little padlock on people's supposedly secure Internet sites have sent users in recent days scrambling to change passwords and question whether they should keep providing sensitive information in their online interactions.Continued ...
- History hurts our credibility on Crimea
- Hardships, repression, don't get Cubans down
- It's time for warmer relations with Cuba
- Unconventional events changed my outlook
- Government lost trust by spying on us
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
The anti-pipeline crowd won't win
At the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's hearing in Oneonta on April 1, the antis continued their obstruction of anything fossil-fuel related.Continued ...
- Not the 'most perfect village' for the mentally ill
- The reality of our economy vs. 'what if'
- Don't opt-in for high-stakes testing
- Constitution will pipe money into local schools
- The anti-pipeline crowd won't win
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Signs of springtime in Oneonta arrived in April 1889
Spring was in the air as Oneontans turned over their calendars to April in 1889. Muddy streets, the start of construction projects, clothing styles and other visible signs made it clear that warmer weather was more the norm than a novelty in Oneonta 125 years ago.Continued ...
- Student housing stirred unrest in 1970s
- Oneonta reveled in spring 'Dress Up Week' in 1919
- Proposed change to Delaware County Community College rejected in 1959
- Area heartily welcomed home troops from WWI
- Signs of springtime in Oneonta arrived in April 1889
- Rick Brockway
Gilbert Lake brings back fond memories
A friend posted on Facebook some pictures of him and his daughter fishing at Gilbert Lake.
- Frog legs always a neat treat
- You never know what you're going to see on the slopes
- Chestnuts are making a comeback
- Fishing is all about being in the right place at the right time
- Gilbert Lake brings back fond memories
- Sam Pollak
Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'
This Sheldon Adelson guy makes me very nervous.Continued ...
- A minority group that's getting out of hand
- Religion should be a comfort, not a weapon
- The world must think we're nuts
- Mistakes easy to take ... if they're not yours
- Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues