It being the first night of Passover, the week of wine and crackers and shaking off the shackles, last night we *threw* a private seder for about 25 friends and family, including Speakeasy regulars, poets, publishers, porn stars, professors, doctors, lawyers, various kids of all ages, and one adorable Yorkshire terrier (Annie’s Digger). Considering the mixed crowd, I decided to make this a totally PG-rated evening, channeling all the creative energy that we so often put into sex into an elegant, fairly traditional, sit-down dinner of Biblical proportions.
We set up three long tables in the art gallery, festooned with heirloom Pesacheria, my great grandmother’s china, three Seder Plates, an assortment of Haggadot and spring flowers from Gene’s garden. My brother Steve, Debra and I, all alumni of Camp Ramah, shared leadership duties, leading half the seder in Hebrew and half in English. Personally, I prefer the Hebrew because I can’t understand most of it, and the sounds and melodies give me pleasant memories of my childhood, while the English is filled with fearful, worshipful talk of an angry, vengeful, macho, horribly violent “God” who somehow manages to be “King of the Universe” as well as special patron of the Jews. Therefore, I tried to do as much in Hebrew as possible, while recognizing that more than half my seder party was Gentile, and needed to hear at least some of the Passover Story in English.
Speaking of Hebrew, Samantha did such a fabulous rendition of the Ma Nishtana (Four Questions) in Hebrew that all the tables burst into applause. We sang (almost) all the prayers in Hebrew, tossing back glasses of sacred red wine, singing (almost) all the prayers, reclining like Romans as thus we are “commanded,” pounding the table like Yeshiva boys in a beer hall as we sang, smacking each other with scallions for Dayenu (a crowd-pleasing, aggression-venting ritual I picked up one seder at the home of “Kosher Sex” Rabbi Shmuley Boteach), bargaining over the Afikomen, going around the table, each guest reading parts of the Passover Story as well as the lyrically erotic Song of Songs of Solomon (you knew I couldn’t hold an event without including something erotic, didn’t you?). And before you go calling it pornographic, remember, as LA Free Press Publisher and mystic tantric alchemist Art Kunkin reminded us, that Rabbi Akiba called the Song of Songs the Holiest Book of the Holy Book.
H, Kim, Gene, Scott and Cyn – our wonderful *new girl* – created a heavenly Passover dinner, with special nods going to Gene’s chicken livers, Langer’s matzoh ball soup, H’s succulent lamb, and my own Maroor Parfaits (layers of red and white horseradish that looked like strawberry swirl ice cream, but tasted more like hot peppers with extra salsa). Oh, and I must say that our special Speakeasy Haroset (symbol of the mortar which the slaves used to make bricks to build the pyramids), made with apples, honey, cinnamon, mixed nuts, raisins, luscious medjool dates and a generous splash of insanely sweet Manishevitz grape wine, was so yummy it made everybody want to build those pyramids all over again.
We also celebrated three b-days – Steve’s, Mary’s and Gene’s! Whew! Why are so many people born in April? Must be that mid-summer lust… We also celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary (though that celebration will crescendo at this Saturday’s show).
After the kids were long gone, we danced and talked, reminiscing about recent orgies, planning future ones, bemoaning the situation in Israel/Palestine, fretting over whether the Bushites are crazy enough to actually go and bomb Iran, and wondering when and how the revolution will come. Is wondering when the Revolution will come the Secular Humanist equivalent of Orthodox Jews wondering when the Messiah will come, Fundamentalist Christians wondering when the Apocalypse will come or Islamists wondering when the worldwide Kingdom of the Caliphate will come? They’re all just angry dreams of distant heavens. I prefer the path of building an imperfect paradise right here and now in this place I call “Dr. Suzy’s Speakeasy,” trying my trippy best to make love and stop wars.
The night stretched into morning, and it being our 14th wedding anniversary, H and I slipped away to our private quarters for some marvelous multi-orgasmic anniversarial sex. It was just the two of us in bed, but we made love to a symphony of whips, smacks, moans and giggles emanating from the Speakeasy bar.