Families spend the nights of the Sedarim enjoying the time together and participating in the various traditions that many of us have inherited from our families.
In our family, we the children would hide the afikoman and then the father or person leading the Seder would have to find it. If it were not to be found, all of us would be in big trouble as we needed to eat the afikoman in order to finish the Seder. We have heard that in some families the father would hide the afikoman and then it would be the responsibility of those partaking in the Seder to find it. The giggles and laughter, the serious negotiations that would take place, usually ending in the return of the mysterious missing matzah.
The next portion of the Seder that we remember as children was opening the door for Eliyahu. Nina remembers standing there holding the door open, petrified that some stranger would actually arrive. Another slightly mysterious activity that as children we did not quite understand.
Lo and behold, we as adults now as part of the real world wonder what the total pandemonium is about the mysterious Pokémon. Where is he—will he jump out at us? In small towns, where shul going is not as popular as it is in Teaneck, it has been suggested that Pokémon be allowed to visit, hiding under the bimah. Apparently, throngs of people who had never walked into a shul before will be searching the depths of the Aron Kodesh, hoping to find their new savior. Perhaps it will be in the midst of the kiddush table under the cholent bowl. Is he hiding in the ezrat nashim?
Anyone who thinks that we really know what we are talking about is grossly mistaken. When we hear that people are falling into lakes, crossing bridges, and that throngs of people showed up one night to Central Park because the word was out that Pokémon was there, it means absolutely nothing to us. This is really more serious than the pet rock, the Rubik’s Cube, hula hoops and yoyos. Trivial Pursuit, Boggle and Rummikub have lost their pizzazz. The search is on. Is he, or is it a she, in Best Glatt, Cedar Market, Glatt Express, Grand & Essex or has he gone astray to the new Seasons in Passaic? How long can this meshugas continue? Somewhere, there are people making billions of dollars from this relatively new craze. Is there not a way that we could inculcate Jewish values into something similar? Remember the days of the Rebbe cards? Pokémon did start out being cards that kids collected. Perhaps there is a Rebbe hiding on a bench in Central Park. Is it possible that there is a Rebbe jogging across the George Washington Bridge or sitting and fishing in Edgewater?
True, we have journeyed far away from our usual train of thought. We want you to know that, yes, there is Pokémon in Montreal and there might be a Rebbe sitting on a bench in Mt. Royal, high atop a mountain in the middle of the city.
The heat has gotten to us, forgive us. It is too warm to be serious these days.
Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick