This year was my husband’s and mine first Passover Seder away from our family. We just moved from the east coast to the Phoenix Arizona area and although I thought I was going to be skipping Seder this year, my husband made other plans.
Chabad is very strong in the state of Arizona so my husband found the chapter in a nearby town and gave them a call. We celebrated both nights of Seder with Chabad and it was very nice. We also figured it was time to venture out and begin meeting other people. This worked out well as we met a couple our age and a woman who knew my mother’s cousin since they all grew up together in (where else?) The Bronx off the Concourse by Grant.
There were certain customs Chabad does not follow. For example, many Jews eat the traditional Matzah ball soup but we did not have this at the Seder. The reason was explained to us by the Rabbi. He told us that Matzah is to only be used to eat; not cooked or baked with. Any possibility of water coming into contact with the Matzah can make it Chametz and instead of taking the chance, Matzah is just not eaten with anything else.
Also, at the end of the Seder, we usually sing songs and Chabad doesn’t. The Rabbi asked the participants who normally sing songs if they wanted to, so a small group of us sang together which was fun. A good round of “Who knows one?” is always fun in English or Hebrew.
Although we missed our family this Passover, our experience with Chabad was one we will never forget.
Next Year in Jerusalem