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Bad times. Chewing on bad times.
In our family, we have a custom of biting into a big chunk of horseradish during the Seder. Faces turn red; eyes wince; we're burning from the inside.
And then it is over. A big "Aahhh". Everyone takes a big breath. We've survived maror .
The bitterness of maror is an essential part of Seder. The Torah tells us that the Paschal sacrifice should be eaten together with maror to remind us how the Egyptians embittered our lives with hard, mind-numbing work.
Slavery imprinted trauma on our souls that did not disappear when we crossed the Red Sea. Generations of anguish - physical and spiritual - do not just vanish. They linger in the inner recesses of our lives, waiting to be triggered. They can control us.
The bitterness of disempowerment and persecution is still with us, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. We need to revisit the bitterness every year - to face it, taste it, and conquer it.
With the exhaling of the "Aahhh" comes fresh hope of moving ahead. We will not let lingering bitterness paralyze or diminish us. We have confronted it head on, and survived to tell the Haggada.
Activity for Seder:
Is there any difficult moment in Jewish History that gives you hope?
I Want to Wash My Hands
to the tune of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles
Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something It’s one of God’s commands
When you start the Seder
You need to wash your hands
You need to wash your hands
You need to wash your hands
Oh my what a feeling
Before the paschal lamb
Our sages took some pains to ensure a Jewish calendar in which Pesach would always fall in the spring. (They were operating in a northern hemisphere context; I don’t think the challenges of antipodean Judaism ever occurred to them.) In the northern hemisphere, Pesach is inextricably connected with spring.
As the earth shakes off the constrictions of winter, her frozen places thawing, so we remember our...
Los 4 hijos son un "simbolo" de pesaj. Esta el Sabio, El Malvado, El Simple y El que no sabe preguntar.
El sabio pregunta: cuales son todas las mitzvhot de pesaj? el mayor responde con todo detalle cada una de ellas
El malvado pregunta: que es esto que hacen ustedes? el padre responde: ustedes!? como que ustedes? si vos tambien sos judio, si no fuese por D'os que nos saco de egipto, no estuvieramos...
Pesach is a time of inclusion.
On seder night, there are two moments where we metaphorically open our doors and invite others in. One is at the opening of the Magid portion of the seder, when we say, “All who are hungry come and eat.” There is a beautiful message here: we were once slaves; poor and hungry, and we remember our redemption by sharing what we have with others.
The other, comes towards the...
For a well-formatted printable ritual, and for more information about Rabbis Organizing Rabbis, please visit http://www.rac.org/ror/
The traditional Ha Lachma Anya is found at the beginning of the Maggid, or “storytelling,” section of the Haggadah. This ritual connects both our Exodus story and the Jewish immigrant narrative to the reality of aspiring Americans...
Our tradition speaks of four children or four attitudes: the wise child, the wicked child, the simple child, and the one who does not know how to ask. Each child has a different reaction to hearing about slavery. . .
What does the wise child say? “What are the testimonies, the statutes, and the laws that apply to this situation? How are we to discern what God demands of us?” You are to answer...
Who can say we’ve actually left? “Wherever you live, it is probably Egypt,” Michael Walzer wrote. Do you live in a place where some people work two and three jobs to feed their children, and others don’t even have a single, poorly paid job? Do you live in a community in which the rich are fabulously rich, and the poor humiliated and desperate? Do you live among people who worship the golden calves of obsessive...
More Clips from Eric Schiffer
Charoset - everyone's favorite.
When the table is full of matza, maror, a boiled egg, and lettuce, how could anyone not love the mixture of nuts, dates, cinnamon, apples, and wine? But it's not so easy to find the connection between charoset and Pesach.
The Talmud mentions that charoset 's thick consistency...
On the Second night of Pesach, we begin counting the Omer. 50 days from The Exodus to Sinai, from Pesach to the Harvest. The harvest of Barley at Pesach until the Harvest of Wheat at Shavuot. Traditionally, the Rabbis interpret the counting as reflecting Israel's eager anticipation of the giving of the Torah at Sinai on Shavuot.
Here I am, ready to perform the mitzvah of counting the...
Had G-d upheld us throughout 2,000 years of Dispersion,
But not preserved our hope for return...
Had G-d preserved our hope for return,
But not sent us leaders to make the dream a reality...
Had G-d sent us leaders to make the dream a reality,
But not given us success in the UN vote in 1947...
Had G-d given us success in the UN vote in 1947,
But not defeated our...