Full Circle Round
Every year of my childhood, my Zaidy z”l would shlep fifteen (20? 25?) pounds of matza with him from Brooklyn to Toronto. He felt (as most Brooklyn Jews do, let’s be honest) that true Judaism comes from Brooklyn. Unwilling to risk using potentially inferior Toronto matza, he took matters into his own hands and brought the holiest of unleavened bread with him.
Fast forward 20 years and my family is heading down to Naples, Florida for Pesach. And packed up with our haggadot, bathing suits and dozens of children’s Pesach crafts are our very own matzot. Not sure what we’re about to find in Naples (or maybe all too sure about what we’re about to find), David packs his own matzot and brings them down with him. Zaidy would be proud (even if they weren’t made in Brooklyn).
That’s my cute story. Here’s the story that makes you cry.
Living in Naples are David’s aunt and uncle. David’s aunt, Aunt Henny, is his father’s older sister and we’ve always had a very special relationship with her. My kids have asked her questions about her childhood in Germany, all about her brother — the Zaidy they never met — and their escape from the Holocaust. Henny and Mort, their son Art and his wife Pam and their sons Ryan and Eric are treasured members of our extended family. Part of our excitement of coming to Naples is sharing the seder with them. Today, Henny asked to share something else. She asked me if she could bring her mother’s candlesticks to the seder and light them here. The candlesticks that escaped with the family from the Holocaust, that were smuggled out of Germany will be lit in the presence of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren tomorrow night. What an unexpected gift and a treasured moment. Truly full circle round.
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