"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
Baseball cards: Different spokes for different folks
Baseball cards as an investment? Fugetaboutit!Continued ...
- It's just a short drive down my memory lane
- Sept. 11 Museum is sobering, inspiring
- Remembering the singing cowboy
- The plain plane truth ruins CNN
- Baseball cards: Different spokes for different folks
- Cary Brunswick
'Insurgent' or 'patriot' can be hard to define
A common perception may have been that writing human history is a mere description and explanation of events. We know better now, however, that even the driest facts are colored by the language and ideology of those doing the writing.Continued ...
- Gaskin and The Farm filled a void
- We shouldn't be surprised by Iraq's turmoil
- Brunswick column on hiatus
- Two-tiered Internet is a bad idea
- 'Insurgent' or 'patriot' can be hard to define
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
Like it or not, the curriculum needed reform
When we first examined the new Common Core Regents exams this June, we felt a sense of relief, not the distress or feeling of doom that has been played up in the media. "Exciting" is the word that comes to mind to describe how we felt about an exam that attempts to more accurately measure the real-world skills our students practice in class.Continued ...
- Police must crack down on motorcycle noise
- SAFE Act won't help get the lead out
- Sessions' betrayal should live in infamy
- Drilling's future is at stake in state's high court
- Like it or not, the curriculum needed reform
- 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
Successes, train derailment were newsmakers in July 1984
The names and accomplishments of New, Drago, Ferraro and Ono, and a train derailment in Emmons were all making news in our area during July 1984.Continued ...
- Oneonta street boomed to prosperity in 1893
- Local landmarks, new conveniences made news in summer 1954
- Locals headed to the lakesides in July 1924
- Local closures, communism, bike parade highlighted July 1949
- Successes, train derailment were newsmakers in July 1984
- Rick Brockway
Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
As I've told you many times, I grew up on the family farm outside of Laurens. During the summer, we spent many hours each day putting hay in the barn for the cows. It was hot and sweaty work, stacking the bales in the mow when temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity was about as high. But at the end of the day, we headed up the creek to a favorite spot â€" the old swimming hole.
- Sometimes hungry animals just come with the territory
- There's plenty to do at the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves
- Fireflies never cease to amaze as nature's night-lights
- Waterfalls are worth the trip
- Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
- Sam Pollak
Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
"I shoot first, and ask questions later."Continued ...
- My father is in my mirror, my dreams
- Being president doesn't look like much fun
- Some changes are just style over substance
- Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'
- Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
- 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