I have friends, a married couple, who converted to Judaism about four years ago. I routinely invite them to my house for the Jewish holidays since their family is all still Christian. Passover is coming next week, so it’s time to get out the special dishes, flatware, and special Passover religious items. It’s time to make sure that the menu is Passover friendly, diabetic friendly, salicylate allergy friendly, lactose intolerant friendly, and not too spicy.
This year, I asked my convert friends if they would like to lead the Passover seder. It will be their first time, and they’ll be among friends. We’ll still hold it at my house, so that I can concentrate on the rituals and the meal, and all they have to do is be the leaders. I’m excited for them, and it gives me something of a break this year, since I usually lead.
I wish I could convey to all of you the intensity of celebrating a holiday that our ancestors have celebrated for centuries. When we share matzoh, we’re eating the bread of our ancestors. When we recite the prayers, we are reaching back in time, sharing the same prayers with our ancestors when they were freed from slavery in Egypt. This is the gift that I am giving my convert friends this year — the gift of reaching back in time.