My First Passover After Divorce


365 days ago, I was a newlywed, sitting at the Passover table with my husband, Jacob*, and his family. Laughter, love and good humor were in abundance. The warmth in the room was palpable. As I readied myself to make a toast celebrating my new family, I felt a lump in my throat, unable to finish the toast without welling up with tears. Six months before, marrying Jacob had brought me many gifts — one of them was this family. I already loved them dearly.

My mother in law’s seder plate had been beautifully laid out as a centerpiece on the long table, and I’d spent a few hours helping her prepare the room for dinner. I felt then the kind of contentment that comes from being part of something meaningful — family, tradition, love. Posting a photograph on Facebook the next day – me standing in the middle of a long row of Oster* family members, my caption said, simply: “Happy Passover! LOVE the Oster Family!”

It was a happy Passover indeed, and the one before that and had been just as special. It was the first one (actually, the only one) that Jacob and I hosted together in our apartment after I moved in with him. Passover that year fell just a few weeks before we got engaged. He handcrafted his own Haggadah; he wowed my parents and my friends with his color-coordinated table settings. There was effort, commitment and love. Again, just as last year – an abundance.