I want to share a story about a song in Ladino that we sing at the Seder. It’s a song my parents remember from their youth that I had not heard during my years growing up at our Seder table.
A few year back, my friend Murray Weiss and I were leaving a meeting and talking about the upcoming Passover holiday. Recalling our shared Sephardic backgrounds we started talking (rather singing to each other!) the various Ladino songs our families sing for this holiday. We knew the same top choices from the Sephardic Hit Parade. Then Murray asked about “Mos Abastava”… Mos what??? Murray told me it was the Ladino version of Daiyenu. Something brand new to me!
I saw my folks later and mentioned “Mos Abastava” which they both recalled with delight, saying that it was sung at their family Seders in their youth. I looked it up, learned the words and we have since included it in our family Haggadah, hoping it will become part of our collective tradition.
At a later date, I heard a lovely tale from the brother-in-law of Ralph Amado (z”l) as to Ralph’s “introduction” of “Mos Abastava” at their family Seder.
Bits and pieces of our tradition….sometime hidden for a awhile, only to be uncovered, recalled, reclaimed and shared again.
Here are the words of “Mos Abastava”, from the Passover Agada; according to the Seattle Sephardic Tradition, 1995:
Kuantos grados buenos a el Kriador sovre nos:
Si mos kitava de Ayifto, i non aziya en eyos justicias, mos abastava
Si aziya en eyos justicias, i non aziya en sus dioses, mos abastava
Si aziya en sus dioses, i non matava a sus mayores, mos abastava
Si matava a sus mayors, i non dava a nos a sus aciendas, mos abastava
Si dava a nos a sus aciendas, i non rasgava a nos a la mar, mos abastava
Si rasgava a nos a la mar, i non mos aziya pasar entre eya por lo seco, mos abastava
Si mos aziya pasar entre eya por lo seco, i non afinkava muestros angustiadores entre el, mos abastava
Si afinkava muetros angustiadores entre el, i non abastesia maestro menester en el dizierto cuarenta anyos, mos abastava
Si abastecia muestro menester en el dizierto cuarenta anyos, i non mos aziya comer a la magna, mos abastava
Si mos aziya comer a la magna, i non dava a nos a el Shabbath, mos abastava
Si dava a nos a el Shabbath, i non mos ayegava delantre monte de Sinai, mos abastava
Si mos ayegava delantre monte de Sinai, i non dava a nos a la ley, mos abastava
Si dava a nos a la ley, i non mos aziya entrar en tierra de Yisrael, mos abastava
Si mos aziya entrara en tierra de Yisrael, i non fraguava a nos a cas de el Santuvario, mos abastava
Sharing traditions…making memories!
Pesah Alegre ~ Moadim L’Simha!!