Passover was Droozy’s favorite holiday. It always came in the spring when the first small light green leaves would come out on the trees; when the grass would begin to turn and daffodils and hyacinth buds would peer out of the ground. “Pessach” was a time of renewal, a time of remembrance.

Weeks in advance Mama would clean house. She didn’t leave a single space untouched. She would clean every closet, every drawer, all windows, doors and floors. Shortly before the eight-day holiday would begin, she would limit the eating area so that all crumbs and leavened bread products would be gone. She would cover the kitchen counters and tables with layers of cloth, to make sure that no “chometz” (bread products) would contaminate the Passover foods. The lunch meal would be a light one where neither Matzos nor bread were eaten, usually just a bit of fruit and an egg or two. All this in anticipation of the delicious Seder meal, with its tantalizing aromas which could be detected throughout the house.

Chicken soup with Matzo balls were carefully prepared; hard-boiled eggs were the first thing on the menu; the Seder plate was carefully assembled with its horseradish and  charoseth (the sweet apple, cinnamon, wine, nut mixture). A lamb bone would be roasted, as well as a hard boiled egg to fill out the symbolic plate.

Papa was always at the head of the table, sitting comfortably in his chair with a pillow behind his back. His red “Haggadah” with the colorful pictures were before him, describing the story of the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and slavery. The children would chant with him, sometimes listening, sometimes talking a little among themselves, and having to be hushed. The cups with their sweet wine would be filled and all would partake of theirs, four times throughout the evening. The Matzot were round during those days in Germany. They tasted so good and crisp that Droozy could hardly control herself from eating them throughout the evening. 

For many years Droozy was the youngest child in the family, so she would recite the “Manischtane”, the prayer explaining why the Seder nights are different from all the others. She felt so special, so important as she gave the recitation of the four questions and their answers.

The next morning was a wonderful time. The Matzo was often broken up into the beautiful, special Passover cups that were filled with steaming hot coffee. Honey and butter were there to spread on the Matzot and were enjoyed by parents and children alike.

Mama would sit with her children and tell the story of Lisanke, a woman who had been a part of her Hungarian childhood. Lisanke would come to Barscht Chekke, the village in which Mama lived until she was six years old. Every Passover she would come to help Mama’s mother prepare for the holiday. She was all dressed in clean white, starched clothing and would make promises to little Sophie (Mama). She would say: “Next Pessach when I come, I will bring you a Plutzermanndele (prune man). It will have eyes of raisins, a mouth of almonds and it will taste oh, so good!” Each year the children, especially Sophie, would wait with great anticipation, but the “Plutzermanndele” never appeared.

Passover was a link between the generations, it was a time of contentment, a time of age-old customs and a time of remembrance.

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author