This is the one holiday of the year in which I don't feel truly bizarre, being the Catholic mother of two Jewish boys, living in a Jewish household and keeping my rather odd set of religious beliefs to myself for the most part. The songs and the fellowship and the communal feelings the seders bring about just feel good. I feel, unlike at Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or even Hannukah, as if I belong.
I've long since cast out all of the public trappings of my childhood religion in the hopes of providing my boys with some kind of a consistent ethical system from which to develop their own beliefs about life and goodness and the universe, but some of the more intimate things about having grown up in an Irish/Italian Catholic family stay with me. I can't help noticing how much matzah reminds me of Eucharist hosts, and how the Hebrew blessings translate into English much the same as the Latin ones. And I feel a little odd reading the passages from the Haggadah that speak of "we Jews". Maybe the most jarring experience during seders is that I never fail to think of "The Last Supper", and remember my first taste of horseradish as a 10 year old attending a reenactment on Holy Thursday at St. Joseph's church in Mayfield.
Perhaps that's exactly why I feel the most affinity for Passover. There's nothing in Rosh Hashanah to compare. Hannukah is nothing like Christmas. And Yom Kippur...well, that's just one big long Confession, now isn't it?
Next year in Israel, everybody! Y'all try out that chocolate cake.