The Global Seder

Source
www.bechollashon.org

By Maya Kasowky

What follows are short descriptions of Seder customs from around the world. For this lesson each custom can be printed out on a separate card or strip.

Circling the seder plate over the heads of each participant, while saying “In Haste we left Egypt”.  The response is “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt”

Where it fits in the seder: The very beginning Where it is from: Morocco and Tunisia

Putting the shank bone, charoset, maror, karpas, egg, and matzah all around the table, rather than on a seder plate.

Where it fits in the seder: During set-up, before the seder starts Where it is from: Persian and Yemenite Jews

Putting the shank bone, charoset, maror, karpas, egg, and matzah in a covered basket, ready to carry out of Egypt with us.

Where it fits in the seder: During set-up, before the seder starts. Where it is from: Tunisia

Putting a fishbowl with live fish on the seder table

Where it fits in the seder: During set-up, before the seder starts. Where it is from: Tunisia

Having first night Seder in Hebrew, and the second night Seder in the language you speak at home.

Where it fits in the seder: Throughout Where it is from: Kavkaz (in the Caucasus mountains, in or near Russia)

Each person takes a turn holding up the Matzot and reciting the steps of the seder (Kadeish U’rchatz, Karpas, Yachatz…).

Where it fits in the seder: The beginning Where it is from: Persia

Take a pillowcase, and fill it with heavy objects, before the seder.  During the seder, take turns carrying it around the table on your back, to experience a little of the hard work that Jews did as slaves in Egypt.

Where it fits in the seder: At “Avadim Hayinu”, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt” Where it is from: Romania

Interruption in the seder by a “nomad” who is leaving Egypt.  Dialogue with the “guest” goes like this;

Seder leader: Where are you coming from?

Nomad: Egypt

Seder Leader: Where are you going?

Nomad: Jerusalem

Seder Leader: What are the supplies for your trip?

Nomad: [sings the 4 questions]

Where it fits in the seder: Right before the 4 questions, or any time, as a surprise Where it is from: Iraq

Pour out bits of wine or grape juice into a bowl of water, and see it turn red/bloody.

Where it fits in the seder: The recital of the ten plagues. Where it is from: Sefaradi custom

Pour wine or grape juice out of a Cup of Pharaoh

Where it fits in the seder: The recital of the ten plagues. Where it is from: India

Gently mock-whip the person who knows where the afikomen is hidden, until they reveal where it is.

Where it fits in the seder: At the very end of the meal. Where it is from: Bukhara

Tie the afikomen onto the back of one child at the seder.

Where it fits in the seder: After Yachatz, and it remains there until the end of the meal. Where it is from: Iraq

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