Since the photo of the napkins is right here, I just want to spend a moment on the napkins. Unlike my mother, I don't always set my table with identical napkins. This batch of napkins has arrived in my house from a variety of sources. Some were my mother's. Most of them came into my house in the what is now usual for me method. A relative of a friend dies. there are odds and ends of linens left when the house is broken up. The cut-work embroidered linen napkins are too lovely to throw away and most people can't imagine ironing napkins. So these napkins find a home in my house and are used for fancier dinners.When my sister was setting the table she noted how the mixed napkins worked well together on the table. They were probably all made within a generation of one another. Some are mad out of nicer linen or have more elaborate or better quality embroidery but in the end, just like the people who sit around our table, not identical, not from the same place and yet willing to have delightful conversations with one another.
Out Seders were made better by everyone who was around the table. They were also improved by the introduction of a fancy KP tequila that our friend Mike brought. Starting the evening with tequila shots is something that I would consider making a tradition.
The morning of the first day of Passover I was on my way to services. A homeless man with his shopping cart was sitting perched on the edge of the little fence around one of the tree pits in front of my building. he asked me for a dollar. I told him that I had no cash on me because it was a Jewish holiday.
The homeless man asked me which holiday it was. I told him that it was Passover. He then asked me if I had reached the mountain. I understood what he meant, had we reached the anniversary of our standing at Sinai.I told the man that that would take place in 50 days.
He then asked me if I had crossed the sea yet. I told him that I would cross the sea the next week. I loved how this man's questions had me extend that understanding of in every generation to each moment beyond the seder.
He then asked me some questions about the difference between Hebrews and Jews, mentioned that he had once worked at a Jewish bakery...but I really did have to go to services, my daughter was reading the Haftara and I didn't want to be late.
Often when we encounter homeless people we don't really look at their faces. I loved that this man engaged me so I really did see the humanity and the sweetness in his face.
I did get to services in time to hear my daughter, and without a moment to spare.
We have been eating well, really well all week. I do have sewing to do so off to that.