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My favorite holiday memory is Passover. Passover used to be a huge holiday within my entire extended family. When I reflect upon what Judaism is to me, I do think a lot about the importance of family, tradition, and my Pa specifically. When I was young, everyone in my family would gather at my grandparents's house or my family's house for the large seder. We would dine upon the most incredible meal and regale in favorite stories. There were always a lot of laughs. But before we ate, my grandfather would tell a very brief version of the story of Passover. Having grown up in a religious household, Pa's family's seder was lengthy and he always remembered just waiting to eat. So, every year he reminded us of that, and vowed never make his family wait that long for a meal. We would go over the seder plate and discuss the 10 plagues. And I had the honor of being the youngest in the family, so I asked the four questions every year. I was always very excited to do that. But the best part was after my brother, cousins, and I were finished eating, we would look for the afikomen. We would tear apart the living room furniture and scatter among other rooms. Someone always found it, I remember winning several times. My grandfather would always reward the winner with $20, and then slip everyone else a $5 or $10. He was always so generous with us. As the years went on, less family attended Passover until it was just my parents, my grandparents, and myself. We had the seder plate, Pa would still tell the same story, and I would still ask the questions. We didn't look for the afikomen anymore because I was the only "child" left, but Pa would still slip me a $20 bill. Now that my grandfather is no longer with us Passover is not the same. But I think about him fondly and will always connect the two.

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