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A Seder with Uncle Moishy at Hamaspik

A Seder with Uncle Moishy at Hamaspik

Kids’ Singer’s Songs Figure Centrally at Group Home

No, Uncle Moishy himself wasn’t at the Seder.  But his catchy lyrics were.

Mr. Moshe Tannenbaum, otherwise known for generations as “Uncle Moishy,” has been educating and entertaining Jewish kids since this writer was a kid.  (That’s at least 30 years, for your information.)  Few if any children’s performers in the Orthodox Jewish community have such cross-community, cross-generational appeal.

Among the fans of Uncle Moishy’s values-reinforcing music are a group of eight enthusiastic young men who reside at Hamaspik of Rockland County’s Concord Briderheim Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) group home.

At the Concord Briderheim Seder this past Pesach, the meal didn’t just feature matzah, wine, fish and meat, but also the Passover and Seder songs of no less than Uncle Moishy.

The central Maggid reading that anchors the Seder was peppered with several whimsical selections from Uncle Moishy’s music, including the ageless melody “Dayeinu!”

And with Seders traditionally extending into the wee hours of the morning, with discussions of Jewish identity through the lens of history (or is that Jewish history through the lens of identity?) encouraged, the Concord Seder started winding down well past 1:00 a.m.—which, considering that many take naps before Pesach’s onset and that the Seder usually starts close to 10:00 p.m., was not too late.

In the course of that Seder, kiddush was recited, karpas was dipped in salt water and matzah and marror were eaten in their proper measures.  Residents were dressed to the nines (including resident Shmuel sporting a matzah-patterned yarmulke) and seated on chairs cushioned with fluffy pillows.  The Kos shel Eliyahu (Elijah’s Cup) was filled at Seder’s end.

But after that, and after the Birkas Hamazon (Grace after Meals) was recited, it was 1:45 a.m., and the gentlemen elected to begin heading off to bed. 

For resident Nachman, however, not so fast!  For the next 30 minutes, he had to sing more Pesach songs… by Uncle Moishy.