Why was last night different than many other nights? Celebrating Passover with a little local style

A seder in Hawaii is much like any seder around the world. We tell the story. We eat the traditional foods. And then there are a few special moments that highlight that we are celebrating in this particular place and possibly nowhere else.

Last night was no exception. The Aloha Jewish Chapel seder at the Hale Koa Hotel was a pleasure. The table was set with a beautiful seder plate and we told the story that Jews around the world had been telling all day long in different time zones.

This particular event has a personal story our family likes to tell. Every year when we attend, we remember that it was at this very seder, eight years ago, that my husband and I had our “Almost First Date.” We have been going every year since–except in 2005 when he was deployed in Iraq.

2006

2007

2011

The seder also has some local flavor, but not in the cooking.

How many seders have you been to where the guest list is a balance of  names such as Watanabe, Fukuhara and Hashimoto?

And then there is the music. Rachel Haymer played the ukulele at my wedding, my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and at most of our Temple events. The addition of her ukulele and her voice last night was a real treat.

Finally, comes my favorite, and the initial inspiration to write this particular blog entry. When we were singing the four questions, during the part that asks why on some nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we only recline: She b’chol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshbin uvein m’subin. Halailah hazeh, kulanu m’subin., both my husband and older daughter changed the word  m’subin-reclining- to musubi which is a spam and rice sushi snack that is so far from belonging at a seder that one can only laugh.

Try singing it.

Only in Hawaii.

Happy Passover.