Last week we had a very cool opportunity to attend a Mexican - Jewish Seder here in Austin. The event was in honor of several Mexican exiles currently living in Texas. It was a thoughtful and moving event and was such a reminder that stories can being us together as human beings despite cultural differences or even language barriers.
Although I had been excited for weeks about attending I was a bit scared that I would end up feeling alienated or alone as the only non-Jewish or Mexican in attendance. Strangely enough, I ended up feeling a greater sense of community and kin than I have felt in a long time. We heard the stories in the Haggadah and sang the songs of Mexico and I felt like I knew those stories and I had heard those songs before. While I may not speak the language I understood that they were all telling the human story - the story of good and bad, sadness and joy, trial and redemption.
As we sat around the table, I thought back to my own heritage and I wished I had a song to sing or a story to tell to honor my ancestors - the ancestors that sailed around Cape Horn to the goldfields of California, the ancestors that walked the plains of the North America in search of a future free of persecution, and the ancestors that threw fabulous parties along the rolling green hills of the California central Valley.
I am still looking for a song to sing.Until I find that song, I think "Mexico Lindo" and "Hava Nagila" will do just fine.