Each Passover season for the past twenty one years, the Jewish residents of our region's group homes for developmentally disabled adults have been coming to our synagogue for a model Seder, or Passover meal, prior to the holiday. Our volunteers spend a long Sunday afternoon cooking, setting up our social hall, and serving between twenty five and thirty people and their overworked, underpaid aides. Over the years I have learned that some of the residents have families who look after them, yet some of them were abandoned by loved ones or forgotten in the family shuffles caused by aging, physical distance and death years ago. Their disabilities are a spectrum of severity, a variety of developmental delays, neuro-motor and communication disorders. From what their helpers tell me, our Seder is one of the highlights of their year. We welcome everyone as they come through the door. We play music and sing, we tell the story of the ancient Israelites' liberation from Egypt, we eat a nice meal together and we have fun. We are a noisy bunch performing a boisterous narrative about redemption for people whose voices, literally and symbolically, are imprisoned or extinguished.
WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel slave through a pyramid of questions to celebrate Passover.
Last week's challenge Start with the phrase QUESTION JAR. Rearrange these eleven letters to spell a word that follows the word "hip" in a familiar two-word phrase, and another word that means, in a way, the opposite of "hip." What are the words? Answer: The words are JOINT and SQUARE.