the four children
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the four children
The Supportive/Open Minded Child
How do we make our GLBT Seder more inclusive?
We seek to ensure that everyone is included and that all of their needs are being met. For example, there is a movement to encourage the use of gender-neutral pronouns like ze for he/she and hir for him/her at inclusive Seders. We have incorporated many new traditions into our own Seder for example, the orange on our Seder plate, or the creation of a whole second Seder plate.
While discussing the ancient oppression in Egypt, we should recognize today’s oppression and the struggles for women’s rights, GLBT rights, racial equality and the elimination of unfair discrimination and the assurance of equal rights for all.
The Hateful Child
Why must you have your own “Queer” (GLBT) Seder?
Judaism is about incorporating each individual’s needs into community and cultural celebrations. Very often, traditional Seders are not sufficiently inclusive of Queer people’s needs. A Seder is a moment to reflect upon the painful lessons of long ago. What better time is there to discuss how these barbaric practices of hate and discrimination still thrive today?
Let our Seder symbolize our (Queer) ability to overcome obstacles for a brighter future.
The Apathetic Child
Why should I participate?
It is in one’s best interest to recognize the world around him or her or hir and to become involved in making a better future for everyone. Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller, who was imprisoned by the Nazis, hauntingly reminds us of this imperative in his famous poem.
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
The Child That Doesn’t Know or Closeted Child
Does not know how to ask or perhaps is too afraid…
This child must receive support and guidance from the community. A community that fosters support, tolerance, inclusion, and understanding is vital to creating an environment where one can explore one’s own identity and understand others’.
Rabbi Gamliel (Grandson of the great Sage Hillel) taught; one who has not explained the following three symbols of the Seder has not fulfilled the Festival obligations:
I will take you to be my people... ...
When we rise up from our Seder tables, let us commit ourselves to stamping out xenophobia and hatred in every place that it persists. Echoing God’s words when God said, “I take you to be my people,” let us say to those who seek safety in our midst, “we take you to be our people.” May we see past difference and dividing lines and remember, instead, that we were all...
To be read following the chanting of the Four Questions.
1. The Torah demands, “Justice, justice shall you pursue!” (Deut 16:20). What are the obstacles to fulfilling this commandment in the context of criminal justice?
2. The Sage Hillel taught: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow” (BT Shabbat 31a). At the heart of our Passover story is the remembrance of being...
Pesach is many things to many people. Its customs are familiar and can be viewed with many lenses. The symbols are universal and are subject to almost any reading: social justice, class, the Holocaust, Middle East politics, American politics, agriculture, the environment, the list is endless, and the proliferation of interpretations is evidence that this is fertile territory.
A few things – maybe only two –...
We’ve been bound by a hardened heart
And our inability to see ourselves in each other.
We have been puffed up by ego and pride.
Enslaved by how things have always been.
And now it is time to go.
But fear threatens to paralyze.
How can we possibly exist any other way?
Our imagination falters
The attachment to what we know is so great
It doesn’t matter that it...
One element of the story of the exodus that the Roberts' version elides is God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Moses Maimonides (ca 1135 - 1204 CE) recognized this element of the story as a significant paradox since it seemed to suggest that God forced Pharaoh to make the wicked decisions that brought about the punishment of the plagues. As Maimonides recognizes, if this were so, then the notion that the plagues were a...
As you bless the four cups of wine and remember the different ways God protected the Children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt, offer these words of blessing for the ways we can stand in support of today’s refugees as they journey to safety. This is the first of the blessings over the four cups of wine that we say throughout the Passover Seder. You will find the other three blessings interspersed...
Is matzo poor man's bread or the food of free men? Can it be both? If we regard it as the Bread of Affliction why did we carry dough on our backs out of Egypt, to let it bake in the hot sun without leavening and rising? Can one Matzo be both a symbol of wretchedness and deliverance?
Matzo is a paradox.
Not only is it so, but in breaking the middle matzo we also break with symmetry. There is...
More Clips from JQ International
In every generation, we all should feel as though we ourselves had gone forth from Egypt, as it is written: “And you shall explain to your child on that day, it is because of what God did for me when, I, myself, went forth from Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8)
We end our Passover Seder by saying in unison:
May slavery give way to freedom.
May hate give way to love.
May ignorance give way to...
Who knows 13? I know 13. 13 are the attributes of God
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph’s dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the Mishnah
5 are the books of the Torah
4 are our matriarchs
3 are our forefathers
2 are the...