OPEN MIKE - MR. PESACH 9-16-02
© 2004 Jordan Margolis
Four months ago today, on May 16th, as the sun set outside the 15" floor window of my father's hospital room at Northwestern, the Holiday of Shavuos descended upon us, and my father, Irving Margolis, ascended to the heavens. As he breathed his last breaths on earth, dad heard his adoring family singing all the traditional songs from our Seders - Chad Gad Ya, Adir Who, Ki Lo Noeh, and Mah Licha Hayom (which my sister Toby used to sing so enchantingly that my dad would always say, "That was beautiful Tweeter, please sing it again). A perfect ending to a cherished life.
At JRC, I might be considered Mr. Purim, but to the Margolis family and friends, my dad was, incontrovertibly, Mr. Pesach. The Margolis Seder, led by my father, was like no Seder anyone has ever attended. Adults anticipated the fun-filled extravaganzas even more than the kids. And although every word of the Haggadah text was recited, the distinguishing features of our Sederim were my father's incredibly thoughtful lectures providing "the real answer" to "the four questions", and our legendary silly Seder songs.
So today, it's fitting that I add my contribution to JRC's celebration of Holiday family rituals - in song.
In addition to "Afikomin Round the Mountain"... and "Tsi Whom are you speakin?"... the highlight, each year, comes after we read from the Haggadah about the enemies we conquered upon reaching the Promised Land. "Sihon, King of the Amorites and Og, King of the Bashemites". OG? Could there really be a biblical origin for our favorite childhood toy, "Odd Ogg"? Do any of you remember "Odd Ogg"? On the commercials, this half turtle/half frog would stick out its tongue and a child would roll a ball into its mouth. The Margolis kids loved the ditty so much we committed it to memory and sang it each Pesach in rounds. Here's how it goes:
Odd Ogg, Odd Ogg
Half turtle and half frog
He's the greatest toy of all
Odd Ogg plays ball
Sabadabadoo, as we affectionately called my dad, loved hearing about my Open Mike shtick every year. And since we've already collectively recited Kaddish for my dad this Yom Kippur, please help me celebrate his memory in a way he would appreciate, spreading the joy of Jewish ritual by adding a humorous twist. To inspire you, I have a real surprise - an original Odd Ogg - which we bought from an antique toy store on the web. Don't worry Rabbi, it's not a Golden Calf, and it looks nothing like a pig. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ODD OGG.
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