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Eliyahu ha-huh?

I thought about "The Polar Express" when I talked to the religious school kids this morning at our model seders. Some of them looked interested; too many of them gave me the patiently condescending look usually reserved for elderly grandparents who repeat themselves too often and the mildly lunatic.

Mind you, some of these kids have no trouble believing that a big fat guy with a beard and a red get-up squeezes down chimneys (their friends and sometimes their own) and leaves presents under decorated trees. But a Jewish guy with a white beard who shows up at every seder, sips some wine and brings hope of a perfect world? Not so much.

Maybe it's because moms and dads insist on syphoning off some of the wine in Elijah's Cup while the kids are standing at the open door. Grownups, please stop. Let your kids use their imaginations. Heck, let the grownups use their imaginations. But maybe it's precisely because of the Jewish connection, where maybe it's not so cool to be a Jew in the first place? I don't know.

Doesn't matter. Soon enough even the believers and want-to-believers will stop hearing the bell, so to speak. And I fear that the cynics among them have either already forgotten what it is to imagine or can't imagine something as Jewishly wonderful as Elijah. That saddens and frightens me.



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