Fill Your Table

April 18, 2019

Fill Your Table

Over the years, the numbers attending our seder had grown to the point that we’d moved out of the dining room into the living room. We’ve had as many as 30 people, which calls for rearranging furniture, lots of cooking and dishes to wash.

This year, I wanted to pull back. I was hoping to be sitting around my dining room table with no more than 20 people. That was the plan. But to no avail. Our regulars now have grown children with their partners, our millennial children come with their partners and feel free to invite their friends, and there are those who have nowhere else to go. Of course in the Beiner house, there’s always room for one more. So we’ll be at 30 once again.

I had to take a step back and remind myself to be grateful that folks know they are welcome in our home, and that they want to be with us for the holiday. And I am grateful that somehow every year, our budget accommodates the significant expenditures that come with ‘kosher for Passover’. I am also thankful that our children have all learned and put into practice the mitzvah of hachnassat orchim, welcoming guests.

In reflecting on this reality, I remembered that filling your dining room (or living room) is central to the celebration of Passover. Each year, we read in the maggid section of the Haggadah:

Let all who are hungry come and eat Kol deekh-feen yei-tei v’yei-khol,

Let all who are in need come and share the Pesach meal Kol dee-tzreekh, yei-tei v’yee-fsakh.

All who are hungry, and all who are in need are invited to take a place at the seder table. Pretty simple.

We might be tempted to think these two phrases are redundant, but in reality they are not. Kol dee-tzreekh – all who are in need means those who are in need –but not of bread.

All who are in need refers to those who are alone, who might have plenty of matzah and wine, but no friends or family with whom to celebrate. All who are in need are those who, in reality hunger for the comradery that accompanies sharing in community.

It is inevitable that I have so many for Passover: those who are hungry, those who are in need, family, old friends, new friends, all have a place at the table.

Whether your seder is for 3 or 30, at your table or someone else’s, may your Passover celebration be filled with joy and satisfaction.

Chag Sameach v’kasher!