What a remarkable little book. I have known Tokyo for what seems forever, but it is actually around 10 years. I enjoy his music and I enjoy his stories.

Today was the perfect day to read Our Last Seder. As I put the book down and contemplated its message, my wife informed me that she(We) were going to the cemetery as it was her mothers birthday. I guess we were gone an hour or so, it was enough time to reflect on Our Last Seder before putting pen to paper (finger to keyboard).

Tokyo has done a great job, you just get pulled into the story  as it unfolds. Maybe the most compulsive aspect is how we journey with the author through decades of his life.

We meet the young man at age 10. The story is told through his eyes, he is correct, there are no good phone calls at 3am! It is clear next morning that something big is afoot, his mother and father are gone and neighbors Alice and Howie in the kitchen saying that mom and dad had to go out and that they would be looking after Tokyo and his brother until they got back.

So starts the story of Tokyo and how he grew up. I am about as religious as a ‘Fish Stick’ and know virtually nothing about the Jewish faith, I learned a great deal about it by reading this book.

Death is a hard subject to write about, it is a hard subject to understand particularly when you are young, hell it is a hard subject to deal with when you are old. Tokyo was 10, it is fascinating to view death through those eyes.

As the book progresses so does the author. It would be easy to dismiss Our Last Seder as a simple piece of vanity publishing. Who gives a damn about a little jewish kid and his life?

The answer is ‘no one’! But it doesn’t matter. The story doesn’t need a hero, the story stands on its own two feet. Of course it doesn’t do any harm that the author is a huge name in the Americana music genre.

Tokyo has a magic way with words, I love this statement:

I was approaching eleven. I had been attending Hebrew school for two years. This was torture. Three afternoons a week. Two hours per session. We learned how to read Hebrew, speak it, write it, recite the traditional prayers, and some Jewish history. This had to be very rough on the teachers, because no one wanted to be there. …. It was as if I personally invented TGIF.

This is a book that should be read, and thought about, The stories within it are many. Yes some of the stories are dark, but even a dark story can have a silken value. Death does not have to signal an end, it may instead usher in a new chapter of life.

You can order your own copy of Our Last Seder from the Amazon link above.

 

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