The Unusual Seder that Rocked the Heavens this Year

The Unusual Seder that Rocked the Heavens this Year

This past Shabbat afternoon I stopped by to visit my friend, who looked beyond exhausted.

“What’s up? You OK?” I asked her.

And then my friend proceeded to tell me how her youngest child, her 1st grader, hadn’t been feeling well on Seder night, and he’d slept through the entire thing. He hadn’t even been able to sing the 4 questions he’d been belting out for weeks.

And the morning after the seder, that son had woken her up in tears at 6:30 AM, four hours after she herself had fallen asleep after finishing the seder and cleaning up after.

“Mommy,” he cried, “I need to make a seder now! But there’s NOBODY at my seder! Please come to my seder, mommy!”

And my friend pulled off her blanket, put on her slippers, and sat at the table listening to her 6-year-old’s seder–from kadesh to nirtsah.

There are many Chassidic stories about seders that rocked the Heavens, that overshadowed the seders of the greatest rabbis of the generation. Those stories are generally about dads who got drunk or who couldn’t afford to buy food for the seder or who almost slept through seder night and then woke up right before midnight to encapsulate the essence of freedom and Hashem’s kindness into one pithy, heartfelt burst.

But I’m pretty sure the seder that shook the Heavens this year belonged not to a father but rather to a 6-year-old boy and his very, very tired JewishMOM who loves him even more than she was exhausted Passover morning.

8 comments

  1. It’s beautiful. It reminds me though how you wrote about this mother who amazingly got out of bed at 6:30, just 4 hrs after she had gone to sleep. I thought this was normal for mothers with young children. Can’t most of us relate to this? My baby woke me up this year at 5:50 and then four more of my children were up before 7am. That’s including the ones who went to sleep at 2am! It’s no wonder I start getting nervous during Seder as midnight rolls around. I assumed this was normal!

    • JewishMom

      that sounds really hard, I hope you manage to take naps during the day

    • I hear you Sara, my kids never sleep in no matter how late they go to bed. And the baby is up during the night he doesn’t care if it’s pesach, shavuos, whatever. So late nights get me stressed. My teens wonder why I always want to go to bed so “early” just when the conversation is getting interesting.

  2. A story that definitely is one to share!

  3. So cute!! What a wonderful little boy (and a dedicated mum).

  4. Reva S. Baer

    About 10 years ago, when my children were younger, one of my sons worked hard helping out erev Pesach, even though we kept reminding him to go nap. Finally he went to bed, but it was already close to lecht bentchen and he didn’t rest much. He had been very determined to stay up for the whole Seder and share his divrei Torah but, surprise, he fell asleep at about Mah Nishtanah. He woke up after we were all finished and everyone else was asleep and I had just cleared the table. He was so disappointed, I said, “Great, let’s have a special seder, you and me.” And we did. We finished around 5:30. I don’t think he remembers (and I had forgotten until reading this), but I do remember that thinking “This is a Good Thing To Do” kept me awake through it all.

  5. Beautiful story, thanks!

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