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by Abigail Van Buren

Passover Host Realizes She Gets No Thanks for Her Effort

DEAR ABBY: For the last 18 years, I have hosted the Passover Seder in my home. The same people come year after year. My three daughters come and always bring along their friends. It's a lot of work, but I always considered it our special night and was happy to host everyone.

This year, after spending a week in the hospital following a heart problem, I had a bit of a revelation. I realized that not one of these people who, for years, have sat at my table (some live just down the street) picked up the phone to ask how I am or offer help. I also realized that once they left my house after the Seder, I never heard from any of them, not even in the form of a card.

I'm conflicted about how to act in the future. I know that getting together is important to my daughters. I know that not having a lovely Seder will make me sad. But I also feel that the way I was treated is not right. Advice? -- OBSERVANT IN MAINE

DEAR OBSERVANT: When I read your letter, my first instinct was to suggest it may be time to whittle down your guest list. However, my better judgment prevailed, so I called Rabbi Elliot Dorff, professor of philosophy (with a specialization in ethics) at American Jewish University, and a cooler head prevailed. He said: "You must distinguish between your enjoyment of the Seder and how you have been treated. If you are going to do this, do it for yourself. It doesn't help to hold a grudge. Rather than nurse a grudge, which isn't healthy for you, speak up about your disappointment when you invite them and give them a chance to respond."

Thank you again, Rabbi Dorff!

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