Hagafen time

20 Apr

Holidays are certainly a time when we feel the loss of family and friends.  I have a couple of vivid Passover stories—I am choosing the humorous one to share. . The first thing that I think of when I recall my mom on Passover is having four cups of wine.  This might make her sound like a lush (urbandictionary.com), but she was not—really. Perhaps because she did not drink on a regular basis or simply because she became giddy at the seder, her four cups of wine were a focal point at our seders.  We teased her throughout the seder. She once made the mistake of asking “Is it Hagafen (Hebrew for fruit of vine”  time? So, our standing joke was telling her when it was that time again. I still picture us gathered around our dining room table, getting close to the next cup of wine and giggling over “Hagafen time.”  I remember the year she decided we should follow the Lubavitch guidelines because they mandated 3.5 ounces per glass during the seder. What an excuse—getting tipsy during the seder was not her idea or desire- it was a religious custom that she chose to follow.

What parts of a holiday make you miss your mom the most? What are the most defining memories of your mother during Passover and Good Friday? Passover brings a bittersweet sadness since it is a time I wish my mom could join me in all of the prayers and stories and together say we would say, “Hagafen.”

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2 Responses to “Hagafen time”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster April 21, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    I was raised Christian but slowly gravitated toward Judaism during my teenage years. I only recently officially converted, but conversion doesn’t change the memories of childhood. My mom didn’t mark Good Friday at all, but she took great care to ensure Easter was a special day for me and my siblings. If she had $2 to spend, she’d somehow stretch those $2 into pure magic. Easter is no longer religious for me, but it continues to fill me with love–and sadness–when I think of how little I understood at the time how hard my mom worked to make it magic.

    Thanks for asking that question. Answering it has reminded me of so many happy memories . . .

    • Shari Danzig Stein April 21, 2011 at 5:17 am #

      Thanks Deborah for your thoughtful comment. I love your memory and how your mom made it work!

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