The New Orleans Moishe House hosted a second night Passover seder last week. This was a very special evening for us because it was the first seder MHnola has hosted since opening its doors two years ago. For Passovers past, many of us traveled home to spend the holiday with family, but in lieu of family members MHnola set out to combine our various familial Passover traditions, and in process prompt a few new traditions of our own.
In preparation for the seder I certainly gained an increased appreciation for the labor of love my mother and grandmother poured into our family seders. The tasks are many: shopping, cooking, cleaning, hunting down 11th hour horseradish when every supermarket in town has sold out. I made my first attempt at making matzo-ball soup, and despite burning half the stock and raising balls the size of grapefruits, it all worked out.
The seder itself fielded a wide range of players from veteran halachic scholars to rookie gafilte fish eaters. With an impromptu haggadah assembled by several attendees we navigated the Passover story leaving no question unanswered. All and all this was a great experience for the residents of MHnola. I think we were all pleasantly surprised at our ability to lead discussion and do the heavy lifting associated with Passover questions and practice – not to mention we made an awesome brisket. Photos by: Federica Valabrega