This post is dedicated to Achdus. Maybe it's the books on Israel I've been reading, or the impending Birchas Hachamah, but what else but Yom Tovim really bring us together? Until... OK, you get married and your are sitting at the begining of the Seder. Now, it's not like Sukkos where you are outdoing someone else with your Lulav & Esrog. On Pesach every family has it's own mishagas. Here at the Seder all bets are off. Minhagim abound, and someones toes are going to get stepped on. How can you compromise? Obviously, your family minhagim go back many generations, (likely to Mt. Sinai) and it would be against G-d himself to change or abandon your sacred traditions. Let's face it, some of you would rather have bamboo shoved under your fingernails than eat Gebrochts. Well good luck to you. I am all about adopting and incorporating. For me, I always only had one issue with Mrs. LFD's Pesach family minhagim, and that is in her house, the parents hid the Afikomen, and in my house, the kids did. The compromise? Two seders, one minhag on each night. Each of us has a rational, but as I have other minhagim her family has adopted, I've become more tolerant, and hence have attained a greater degree of Achdus. The minhagim I do at my inlaws that are tolerated:1. Having my own Seder plate rather than a communal one at the table.
2. Singing Kadesh Urchatz in the to the tune of Manamana.
3. Glaring at whever reads the "wicked son" as if they are evil incarnate.
4. Eating a potato for Karpas (they use celery, I sneak in a boiled potato. Mrs. LFD doesn't know this, but she will now).
5. Telling boring stories about my father having a "kosher for pesach" garbage can and vacuum cleaner.
6. My personal favorite- singin Adir Hu as the Mr. Potato Head song:
Adir Hu, you know it's true,
Mr. Potato Head I made you.
Eyes & ears & a button nose too,
Mr. Potato head I made you-
Kel Benai, Kel Benai, Beyamaynu Bikarov
Kel Benai, Kel Benai, Mr. Potato Head I love you!
Having a Mr. Potato Head as part of my in-laws seder, and knowing that it has spread to my sister in laws family gives me that warm Achdusy feeling. Ah, minhagim, would we be in Galus without them?