When it comes to me and Pesach, sadly, the thrill is gone. I cannot help but think of that great, sad, blues song which was one of BB King's greatest hits. In a nutshell, the older I get, the more I dislike Passover. And trust me, I do feel badly about this situation. But every year, I grow more and more weary of the pre-Pesach cleaning and shopping, the planning, and the sense that what joy I once felt for Passover has dissipated. At this point, Passover is a burden for me. The thrill is gone.

As a child I enjoyed Passover. I liked the seders. I liked having a week off from school. I liked the model seders we had at Hebrew School, with lots of rousing singing and hard boiled eggs rolling across the tables. And allow me to relate a memory of Pesach past: one time when I was about 9 or 10, my brother and my mom and I were coming home from a museum visit we took during Passover, and we were stuck on a delayed New York City subway train. Mom took out from her pocketbook some chocolate lollicones, Passover treats we adored, and the three of us passed the time noshing. Ahh, nostalgia.

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Even with the addition to our holiday diet of all things kitniyot, rice and beans, and peas and tahini, and tubs of hummus, we are still already nearly fed up with Passover food and it's only Day Three! Are we spoiled brats? Are we jaded post-modern snobs? No, but I feel that I am faking my smile when someone talks to me about the great food choices we have these days. Feh.


But I do try to find some of the old spark, I do. For our family's second seder I invited four friends to join my extended family, and three of these friends are not Jewish. One is a former student of mine and he is actually a part-time Evangelical youth preacher. He, his girlfriend and my Asian, lapsed Catholic high school friend joined our Seder Two, and had a very nice time. They did some of the Haggadah readings in English. They listened carefully to the Hebrew that I read, as well as my kids and my friend Cindy (whom I've known since 4th grade). They enjoyed the food, and asked many questions about the Passover rituals and story. It was heartening!

But then they went home, and my brother and his family went home as well, and I was left with my less-than-passionate feelings for this holiday. In recent years I have been much more enthusiastic about Sukkot. And I know there is an effort involved in setting up the sukkah and decorating, but that is so much fun. I invest those tasks with zeal. I enjoy sitting in the sukkah, by myself and others, and eating and singing and chatting at the table. I wish I could conjure up those feelings for Pesach, but they just ain't there. The thrill is gone. And no matter how many whimsical Passover dessert recipes I see posted on Facebook, and no matter how many cute seder decorations I gaze at in my family's collection (which my daughters no longer add to, since they are now teenagers), I find myself waiting for the holiday to end.

So this essay ends with an appeal to any and all of you who read this: please tell me, how do I rekindle my Passover spirit? What suggestions do you have?

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