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:
Source 1: Babylonian Talmud
Context: The Babylonian Talmud is a collection of Jewish stories, laws and debates grounded in the Bible and other Jewish texts. It was compiled in the fifth century in modern-day Iraq, but many portions of it are much older. Here, the Talmud quotes and comments on a passage from a second-century text called the Mishnah. The Mishnah asks, “How long must a person live in a city to be...
Karpas (parsley that is dipped in salt water during the seder) kavannah (spiritual focus)--time for spring awakening, new directions--renewal and bursting forth of new ideas.
We take this time to honor others who travel with us from other faiths and cultural traditions. We acknowledge the fact that they bring a new perspective to our lives and a legacy of their own that enriches ours. We are grateful for the...
Long ago, Pharaoh ruled the land of Egypt. He enslaved the Jewish people and made them work very hard building his cities. song: Bang bang bang
Phaoraoh was especially cruel to Jewish children. One mother hid her baby, Moses, in a basket in the river. Pharoah's daughter found him and took him home to live in the palace.
Moses grew up. He saw the slaves working so hard. He had a fight about it...
The Passover Haggadah recounts ten plagues that afflicted Egyptian society. In our tradition, Passover is the season in which we imagine our own lives within the story and the story within our lives. Accordingly, we turn our thoughts to the many plagues affecting our society today. Our journey from slavery to redemption is ongoing, demanding the work of our hearts and hands. Here are ten “modern plagues”:
by Stanley Kunitz
Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
It’s been a crazy week. The world with all its worries and bothers is still clamoring for your attention. The first step is to forget all that. Leave it behind. Enter into a timeless space, where you, your great-grandparents and Moses all coincide.
The beginning of all journeys is separation. You’ve got to leave somewhere to go somewhere else. It is also the first step towards freedom:...
Following the framework of the Four Questions of the Passover haggadah, we ask four alternative questions for discussion. These questions are meant to spark conversations that can happen throughout the seder.
Read this narrative aloud and then discuss the question below.
“When I found out I got into the University, I immediately called...
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...