In some communities, the highlight of the Passover seder is when participants gleefully brandish leeks, and “whip” each other with them to playfully recall our bondage in Egypt. In other places, people pour water on the floor, lift up their coats, and recall the towns they’ve traveled through. Others still, recall this liberation and other liberations by breaking all of their dishes and starting over. Since we want to be invited back next year, we do not plan on pouring water all over the floor of the Atlantis Casino or breaking all of their plates. But we do plan to celebrate with joy, humor, and all of you! We are so excited for the community Passover seder!
Passover is a singular holiday, and the Seder is one of the most fun and interesting nights of the Jewish year. At what other formal table can you slouch without someone scolding you? At what other time is burying the bitter food on your plate encouraged? When else is playing with your food a requirement?
We have celebrated seders on three different continents, at least 7 different cities, and in countless different homes, but never have we led one quite like this will be. Our community seder promises to be an incredible event. We have an amazing night planned, from the first bottle of wine to the last. Our family is coming from far and wide, from Ohio to Panama, and we are so excited to celebrate with all of you. Yes, Rabbi Myra will be joining us as well! From the most seasoned seder veteran to the fourth child, who does not know enough to ask, we have something fun in mind.
Not all seders are created equal. I have heard horror stories of some that began after the leader ate an entire head of lettuce. But I also remember one where everyone had a different haggadah, each shouting out their favorite lines – chaotic? Yes. Boring? No! For every time I have tried getting through a wordy haggadah full of thees and thous, I remember another time when we all got up from the table and acted out each of the 10 plagues. Or another time, we channeled our inner Frank Lloyd Wrights, building mini-pyramids out of sugar cubes. And when someone boasted how quickly he could talk, we challenged him to recite all of Chad Gadyo in less than 4 seconds!
This kind of fun is what we have planned. No voice too out of key, no prior knowledge too little! Everyone can join! You provide yourselves, your voices, and your senses of humor. We’ll provide the leeks!
Rabbis Sara and Benjamin Zober