Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Seder Stats

Hope everyone had a lovely seder - or two. Ours went well, better than I had expected or even dared hope. The inescapable sadness was still there, but thank God, far outweighed by the joy.

So on this first day of chol hamoed (outside Israel), time for a quick Seder poll - eight questions to map to the eight days of Pesach - here in chutz la'aretz that is. If you're in Israel, skip question #2 and you'll still have the right number!

Please provide responses in the comments; mine will be there after a couple of others are posted:

1) How long did your sedar(im) run this year, to the nearest 1/2 hour?

2) If you have two sedarim, which one is usually better, and why?

3) What is your custom for Afikomen?
a) Seder leader hides it, kids have to search for it.
b) Seder leader puts it aside, kids have to "snatch" it.
c) Other - please describe

4) What do you use for Karpas?
a) parsley
b) potato
c) celery
d) onion
e) other - please specify

5) Besides the basic seder obligations - wine, matza, maror, karpas - what is your favorite special Passover food?

6) What's your favorite seder song? What's your least favorite?

7) What was the best question asked at your seder this year - besides the four "canned" ones that is?

8) What part of the seder is the most intense/emotional to you personally?

A gutten moed to all!

12 Comments:

At 4/5/07, 2:36 PM, Blogger Reb Chaim HaQoton said...

1) How long did your sedar(im) run this year, to the nearest 1/2 hour? I'm not sure when each Seder started, but the first night we went until midnight and then I learned for an hour afterwards. The second night we finished 1:00 a.m.

2) If you have two sedarim, which one is usually better, and why? The second because we always have guests for the second seder, but not the first (a family minhag).

3) What is your custom for Afikomen?
a) Seder leader hides it, kids have to search for it.

4) What do you use for Karpas?
e) other - please specify: Radish

5) Besides the basic seder obligations - wine, matza, maror, karpas - what is your favorite special Passover food? Matzoh balls

6) What's your favorite seder song? חד גדיא
What's your least favorite? דיינו

7) What was the best question asked at your seder this year - besides the four "canned" ones that is? If the תם is stupid, then does יעקב איש תם mean יעקב was stupid? (I answered תם means simple, not stupid.)

8) What part of the Seder is the most intense/emotional to you personally? Marror, it's so emotional that I'm crying. Just kidding. The Kiddush.

 
At 4/5/07, 2:54 PM, Blogger Miriam L said...

Good questions... hmmm
1. 3.5 to 4 hours
2. Second night with all the company is the biggie
3. Leader (or leader's wife) hides it, kids find it. (Re-hiding is also an option.)
4. Parsley & potato.
5. Matzo ball soup
6. "She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain" (I'm pretty sure that's a seder song) / Chad Gadya.
7. "Are your dogs keeping Kosher for Pesach?"
8. Opening the door for Eliyahu.

 
At 4/5/07, 3:14 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

1) How long did your sedar(im) run this year, to the nearest 1/2 hour?

Both sedarim went till about 12:15 a.m.

2) If you have two sedarim, which one is usually better, and why?

Depends who is a guest at which seder; some guests make for better sedarim! This year, our second seder with my oldest brother and his wife was better.

3) What is your custom for Afikomen?
a) Seder leader hides it, kids have to search for it.
b) Seder leader puts it aside, kids have to "snatch" it.
c) Other - please describe

My husband hid the afikoman and the kids searched for it. Growing up, we kids hid the afikoman and my father searched for it.

4) What do you use for Karpas?
a) parsley
b) potato
c) celery
d) onion
e) other - please specify

We used celery, and boiled potato for my benefit (our minhag while growing up) and added radish for whoever wanted.

5) Besides the basic seder obligations - wine, matza, maror, karpas - what is your favorite special Passover food?

I LOVE matzah farfel with milk as my morning cereal!

6) What's your favorite seder song? What's your least favorite?

I don't have a least favorite really; I like "Chad gadya" and "Avadim hayinu".

7) What was the best question asked at your seder this year - besides the four "canned" ones that is?

Can't remember; probably something in the dvar Torah my 9-year-old daughter said.

8) What part of the seder is the most intense/emotional to you personally?

I sat this year looking at my children and thinking how far they've come in their schooling, in growing up so fast...and I was thinking about my family seders while growing up and our minhagim, and the new minhagim we create when we marry and raise our own families.

I think whenever we say "Hashanah habaah b'Yerushalayim" has the most meaning. Because growing up we always added, "May we ALL be together again next year and be able to celebrate together." The gathering of family for meaningful Yom Tovim is what makes up many fond childhood memories for us all.

 
At 4/5/07, 9:48 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice poll I will answer a few questions I am just too tired to go through all of them so forgive me please:). The first seder went till about 11:30 and the next one went an hour later. We use potato and parsely for karpas. The first seder is more exciting. That's all for now.

 
At 4/6/07, 4:11 AM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

Hey, I think we should start a Pesach Meme, don't you think? these questions are a good start! Here goes:
1)How long: 6 hours, our approximate usual run time.
2)Which better: It varies; when I was growing up, we were so exhausted that I would say the second seder was better; now that I'm an adult and have more control, sometimes the first is better, because we are so psyched!
3)Afikoman: Seder leader hides it, kids (or whomever) search for it, and then they hide it, and Seder leader has to redeem it, by submitting to blackmail!
4)Karpas: When I was growing up, my parents used celery; since I've been married with kids, we use parsley and potatoe.
5)Favorite Pesach Food: Charoset, hands down!
6)Favorite songs:So many, so many--ve-hi sheh-amdah (we have our own special niggun in addition to the standard Israeli), ki lo ya'eh, ki lo na'eh, again our own special niggun my mother (a"h) used to sing as a child in her father's house in Poland, the entire Hallel -even the parts I don't know niggunim for(!), and all the zemirot at the end, some of which I mentioned already: ehad mi yode'ah,chad gadyah, etc. I don't have a least favorite--I love them all!
7)Best Question: I can't think of one, except perhaps at the second seder when we were at friends, the Seder leader answered a question about the idea of a 'second seder': how it is not truelly the way a seder should be, because the whole idea of the seder is to relive the exodus from Egypt, not sitting relaxed and rested around the table enjoying the company and food without any tircha! The first seder is really the epitomy of rushing to get out of bondage. I thought that was pretty apt! (can't wait 'til I live in Eretz Yisrael; but knowing me, I would probably miss the second seder!)
Most Intense: There are several places, Hallel included, but I would have to say shfoch hamatcha; it fills me with great pain at the suffering of our people over the centuries, and I'm sorry to say, rage at the perpetrators, and hope that Hashem will avenge all those who perished al kiddush Hashem...
Answering these questions was also very intense. It's 2:00 a.m., but I had to do it--Lailah Tov!

 
At 4/6/07, 4:19 AM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

Oh, forgot to add to #8, 'most intense:' Kos Eliyahu; I keep hoping he will actually be at the door, and Moshiach will have arrived.That is very emotional for me...

 
At 4/6/07, 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) How long did your sedar(im) run this year, to the nearest 1/2 hour? 3 1/2

2) If you have two sedarim, which one is usually better, and why? NA . I live in Eretz Yisrael!!!

3) What is your custom for Afikomen?
When Growing up it was the Seder leader hides it, kids have to search for it.
Now it is theSeder leader puts it aside and the kids "snatch" it.

4) What do you use for Karpas?
When it is at my home , parsley but when I am at my in laws it is radish


5) Besides the basic seder obligations - wine, matza, maror, karpas - what is your favorite special Passover food? Kneidelach!!

6) What's your favorite seder song? חסל סדר פסח כהלכתו
What's your least favorite?I don't have one

7) What was the best question asked at your seder this year - besides the four "canned" ones that is? How many times is Moshe Rabenu mentioned in the Hagada? What was surprising was that it was asked right after the only time he was mentioned and no one noticed!

8) What part of the seder is the most intense/emotional to you personally? Singing לשנה הבאה בירושלים

 
At 4/6/07, 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) How long did your sedar(im) run this year, to the nearest 1/2 hour?
about 5 hours the first night, about 4 the second night (if I include prep time, organizing kids, etc, the second took about 5 hours as well)

2) If you have two sedarim, which one is usually better, and why?
The first one is much more lively - the kids are older and much more into it
3) What is your custom for Afikomen?
Seder leader puts it aside, kids have to "snatch" it. In lieu of gifts and bribes, our first night host makes a donation in the names of all the kids present to several tzedakos in Israel.

4) What do you use for Karpas?
parsley

5) Besides the basic seder obligations - wine, matza, maror, karpas - what is your favorite special Passover food?
I happen to love quinoa, even though it can be an all year round food.

6) What's your favorite seder song? What's your least favorite?

Favorite - Chad Gadya - each person is assigned a role, and has to say or do something to act it out each time the part comes up in the song.
Least favorite - Ki lo Yaeh - it seems that nobody ever has a good tune for it.

7) What was the best question asked at your seder this year - besides the four "canned" ones that is?
If Rav Moshe zt"l said that peanuts are OK on Pesach, why doesn't anybody eat them?

8) What part of the seder is the most intense/emotional to you personally?
L'shana Haba B'Yrushalayim - we are , iy"h, making aliyah in less than 4 months. Although we can't wait, leaving our friends and family is very difficult.

Soccer Dad's Former Roommate

 
At 4/6/07, 5:40 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Folks: Thanks for all the great responses! And Lady-Light, good idea about the meme. Anyone who wishes, consider yourself tagged!

Now for my own answers:

1) Seder length: Just about four hours even, both nights. We finished at 12:45 the first night and 12:25 the 2nd night. Atypically, we actually started the 2nd seder earlier than the 1st this year, since we were waiting for guests the 1st night.

2) Which seder is usually better: Overall the 2nd is better because I'm less exhausted, having had a nap that afternoon (I can never fall asleep on erev yom tov). But the excitement of eating matza for the first time in a month, and thus fulfilling the main mitzvah of the seder, is definitely a big lift during the first seder.

3) Afikomen: I hide, the kids seek. We also have definite, if unwritten rules about what hiding places are "fair" and when the searching can start.

4) Karpas: Potato.

5) Favorite foods: Real-sugar coke (of course), and more recently charoses, which my Aunt-in-law makes enough of to eat as a spread for the entire Pesach!

6) Songs:
- Favorite joyous song: Echad Mi Yodea. We sing alternate verses in Hebrew, English, and Yiddish versions, and really have fun with it. When I was a kid, my dad had yet another version, in German.
- Favorite emotional song, see #8
- Least favorite song: I really love all the singing at the seder, but I guess the one I enjoy the least is our very first song (not counting kiddush), "Ha Lachma Anya". The traditional tune we use is rather boring and atonal.

7) Best (non-Mah-Nishtana) question this year: By telling the Rasha ("wicked son") that "if you were in Egypt, you wouldn't have gotten out!", aren't you just taunting him and driving him further away?

8) Most emotional moments: Many moments get me choked up, but the two most intense ones are when we sing the final bracha that concludes Maggid (go-al yisroel), and when we sing Chasal Siddur Pesach. The latter especially is both deeply solemn and joyful at once... in a way that can only be experienced, not described in words.

 
At 4/8/07, 3:01 AM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

Elie, I thought I published my next comment on this post but apparently it didn't 'take.' I wanted to say, that with your permission, I will write about the 'Pesach Meme' on my blog as a joint venture: your questions & my meme idea, and see where it takes us; am waiting for your response...

 
At 4/8/07, 9:46 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Lady-Light: Please do! Thanks.

 
At 4/13/07, 12:04 PM, Blogger RaggedyMom said...

I like these questions!

1) First night - 12:30 a.m., Second night - 12 a.m.

2) The first is usually more exciting - by the second we get a kind of "going through the motions" feel.

3) The fathers of each family present put theirs aside and the kids from that family find it, hide it, and extort!

4)Potatoes and radishes. It's difficult not to eat too much!

5) Well, my mom's cooking always hits the spot. Otherwise, I love the sweeter Pesach ketchup. She hasn't made it in ages, but my grandmother's sponge cake is terrific. My father makes the best matzah brei ever. And I really like shmurah matzah with butter and salt.

6) Our songs are such a mish-mash - my mother's bais yaakov tunes for hallel, my father's Israeli tunes, some tunes my husband learned in Antwerp when he was becoming frum, and now the things my daughter learns in school. Chasal Siddur Pesach and Ki Lo Na'eh remind me of my late Israeli grandfather, and the yiddish tune for Echad Mi Yodeah of my other grandfather's mother.

7) My Israeli cousins - Matai Ochlim et HaBeitzim?! (When do we eat the eggs?)

8) The first night there were thankfully too many people to sit around the table so my mother spread out some folding chairs for the younger grandchildren to sit beside my father, an improptu dais. Seeing him surrounded by them, and seeing the wonder in my daughter's eyes as she realized that we ALL knew the same things she had learned and heard in preschool was a very special first this year.

 

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