New Slant on Seders
To learn more about the latest seder trends, The New York Times
called upon Fran Lebowitz, the New York writer and popular party
Q. It's a contradiction in terms, but what modern traditions are
people introducing to their seders this year?
A. I have no idea. I've gone to the same family seder for 47 years
and I still haven't gotten seated at the adult table yet. My little
cousins have to fight me for the Afikomen.
Q. Interesting new dishes?
A. No. It's entirely possible that in the early fifties, a very
large brisket was delivered to our family and we're still eating
it. We not only have the same food, we have the same conversation.
I don't go anywhere else for holidays but to my family. I went to
London for one holiday when I was in my 20s, and now it's mentioned
at Passover as a plague -- 'The Year Fran Went to London.' That's
the one between locusts and blood.
Q. So you've never heard of the new symbols, like the orange on the
A. What's that supposed to stand for -- Florida?
Q. So nothing changes in your family seder?
A. My cousins in Israel have different melodies -- the wrong ones.
They're the cheerier Jews. All Jewish melodies should be in a
mournful key. I mean, if you're going to be cheerful, you might as
well be Episcopalian.
Q. Do you ever have non-Jews at your seder?
A. Sometimes, but I don't like it because then the seder takes too
long. Everyone feels they have to explain.
Q. So there is nothing liberating for you about the seder?
A. How freeing can it be to have to get to Poughkeepsie by 6 p.m.?