As everyone knows I have just one responsibility in this world, and that is to lead us all through the annual exercise in futility that is the Feinstein family Passover seder. And after 16 consecutive years of false starts, half-measures, and ambivalence, I have one vow: We are finishing this freaking seder this year even if I have to kill you all.
And that means all of it! Beginning to end! No shortcuts, no skipped pages. All the singing parts, too. Oh and you better believe we are doing this as a communal read. We are going around this fucking table and everyone is reading a bit of it. No, I don’t care what language you do it in. But if I hear even one person claim to have laryngitis or try to sneak away during their turn, I will take you into my reasonably clean, two-car garage, and back over you with the rear tires of my Miata.
So consider this a fair warning that there are to be NO DISTRACTIONS. No debates about whether Trudeau or Harper is more “Jewish”. No arguments about why your cousin Rachael dropped out of Law School or what’s in the Gefilte Fish. And if anyone asks Auntie Ida about Israeli politics, I will start breaking fingers. There is going to be one topic talked about this year: the compiled Rabinnical commentary collected over the course of numerous generations which together create a slightly disjointed narrative of Jewish bondage in Egypt.
Now don’t you dare start rolling your eyes at me! I am putting my foot down because we never finish this thing! We go through the motions year after year, until eventually people filter away from the table to see what’s on TV. You think I enjoy this any more than you do!? Well, I don’t! I’d much rather be sitting in the bakery section of my nearby Loblaws, eating an entire loaf of bread. But I’ve been given one task in this family, and by God I am going to accomplish it even if I die trying.
Hey! Mark! No not Meyer’s son. I’m talking to Edna’s nephew. I saw that bag of cookies you just stuffed into your pocket. Oh, I know you think you can pull a fast one on poor old Uncle Morris. Those things better be Kosher for Passover or I swear I am going to force feed you each and every one of those until your foreskin grows back. And guess what pal? You just volunteered yourself to do the Four Questions this year. I know you;re not the youngest here but what I say goes. So start singing or I start throwing things!
And before anyone asks: Yes, we are doing all the parts after the part where we finally eat the meal. No, you sit down this instant! This is not just a means to an end. What is this holiday if not an opportunity to share in the same collective suffering as our ancestors?
Doug, you shove that entire plate of Maror in your mouth right fricking now! Nancy, you’re reading as the Evil Son this year and don’t give me one of your right-wing diatribes about gender fluidity. Did anyone open the door for Elijah yet?! What is this? Amateur Hour?! You all better start spilling wine onto a napkin or I start spilling blood! If we have to accomplish family unity by monotonously reading through a 1,000 year old text while slowly impacting our bowels with completely undigestable Matzah, that’s exactly what is going to happen, Oscar!
So sit down and get comfortable! Because this is a four hour bus-ride in uncomfortable seating with other passengers you barely like, and your driver today is dear, neglected, Uncle Morris. Do you hear me, you ingrates?! We’re doing the whole damn thing this year! So buckle the fuck up!
What do you mean no one brought the Haggadah? We don’t have even one?! Alright, forget it. Pass the brisket. I’ll be eating alone in the rumpus room.