Four Cups Full of Passover Wishes!
It's no secret that pets and their owners resemble one another, possibly because we subconsciously choose animals that look like us. Objects are also sometimes like that.
These two Pesah kiddush cups side by side--the taller one, my father; the smaller one, my mother, evoke many seder nights in our home, my father leading, my mother at his side. My father designed the cups himself and had them crafted in silver in Calcutta, animating them with his spirit, scholarship and creativity. On his, he had the craftsman engrave the order of the seder and a scene from his haggadah depicting the seder table. On the pedestal, he chose the four words for redemption from the Book of Exodus that serve as the basis for the four cups of wine.
My mother's bears an "M" for Margaret, rising from a portrayal of the exodus story with an Indian twist: an elephant trumpets past as an Israelite slave labors in the fields. My two sisters and I have similar, smaller cups engraved with our first names. There you have it, our family of origin.
On this second Pesah without my father, we will miss him dearly, but we will continue to hear his voice chanting the special sections of the haggadah that were just his. We will continue to hear his stories; his detailed and patient explanations; his grammatical corrections; his laughter and contented smile; even his little pre-seder sermons--all of which add up to his inimitable spirit that lives on in the new and budding branches of the family tree he treasured so much: his eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Tizkoo L'Shanim Rabot!
Rahel Musleah was born in Calcutta, India, the seventh generation of a Calcutta Jewish family that traces its roots to 17th-century Baghdad.