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Zahava Bauer

A Seder of Stories

Where were we sitting
Who sat where?
Was I the one who
Packed it
Baked it
Parted the seas
That time when
Time stood still

This night
A night of stories
Some gory
Some glory
All ours
To tell till morning
When our nation
Was transforming

How do we tell it
Share it
Bless it
Forgetting the plates
Filled with food
Sitting for hours
Regaling His powers
A night to tell
Recite
Remember
Revel
In the encounter

Grandma begins it
From Avraham
But I think it started
Later
with Lavan
Dad claims it’s
Back with Eve and Adam
When we were exiled
From our first
Home

Was it the angel
You saw
or God”s hand
Wrapped in awe
As the stick
Hit the sand
Undermining
Pharoah’s
Incessant
Irreverent
Demands

Do you only remember
The salvation
The elation
Of the nation
Or are you caught
In the memory
Of the bitterness
Of the slavery?

Can you manage
A dayenu
In light of the
Bondage
Of Avoteinu
The depth of the
Despair
The drownings
The blood of shvuyeinu

Or do you count
The numerous
Makot
Pulling back
The curtain
The number uncertain
Various memories
Of tens
Fifties and hundreds
Of them

Remember how it went
Later
With a mikdash?
What it was like
to hear that Kiddush
A lamb roasting
On a dish
Toasting
To a life
Filled with miraculous light

So many questions
Messages
And lessons
Repeated for
Generations
The memories
Mysterious
But always
Victorious
A nation impervious
To the schemings
Of nations at large

And the stories
We’ll keep reciting
With new pages
We’re still writing
And the verses
Enlightening
Today’s stories
Of the Mighty
Just keep sharing
Round the table
On the night
Of all nights

About the Author
Zahava Bauer grew up in Teaneck, NJ and now lives in Bala Cynwyd, PA with her husband and three children. She is a middle school Language Arts teacher in Caskey Torah Academy who loves to write poetry in her spare time. She also enjoys snow days, hiking, and a day at the beach. Her Bachelor’s degrees are from Stern in Jewish Education and English Literature, and her Master’s degrees are from Azrieli and GPATS. She hopes for nothing more than peace in the Middle East and achdut among Am Yisrael!
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