Posted in Writing Life


The moon is full. Tonight we celebrate the exodus from slavery, the difficult passage to freedom. My family does this in its own way, a touch of the traditional, rather more of the untraditional, having evolved and grown up with my kids, now 9 and 12. Food is central. Jellies a must. Torte–2 kinds tonight because A and an invited friend independently realized this a most delicious dessert when flour is out of the question.

There are symbols to to remind us of the story: bitter herbs to bring tears to the eyes, and sweet haroset to ressemble the clay bricks that slaves made, the eggs of spring, the sacrificial beet (for vegetarians). The reminders jog personal memory, for we are to think of ourselves, this evening, as if each of us personally was there.

Each of us was a slave, bound by rules, frightened, dominated, whipped, our babies ordered drowned for fear of prophecy. Each of us followed the divine fire and pillar of smoke, wandered in the sandy waste, hungered for the familiar foods of slavery.

Each of us stood silent, admonished by angels not to sing over the demise of our enemies, because they too are children of God.

Each of us knew the taste of manna and the water from Miriam’s magic well. As if it happened to us, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

It is easy for me. I really was there. Weren’t you?

And then, in each generation, we are supposed to tell our story, mine, yours. Have you started?



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

4 thoughts on “Passover

  1. When I read posts like this I think what a shame it is that we have lost so many of our rituals. This is when you can see that so many of our traditional festivals have been taken over by commercialism. I would so much rather exchange stories than presents.

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