Freedom Kavanah 2019
By Amy Randel
I’d like to take a minute to establish the space we’re holding and my intention for this seder- Normally on Passover, we, as liberal Jews use the time to tout social justice and oppression, and we will do that…. But this year, and for this seder, I want to offer a specific Kavannah that everything we do in the Seder tonight is going to be about-
My Kavanah for this seder and this particular journey out of Egypt is that this year we invite freedom into ourselves. This year- a year of so much narrowness in the world, I invite us all to free our minds first. To let ourselves be free, and fully in this moment, while simultaneously being in Egpyt, the red sea, and the desert.
This is a seder of free expression, a seder of free love, of free creativity and this go around we are going to focus on what Heschel calls, Stubborn Gladness-
“Public worship is an act of the highest importance. However, it tends in our days to become a spectacle, in which the congregation remains passive, inert spectators. But prayer is action; it requires the complete mobilization of heart, mind, and soul. What is the worth of attending public worship when mind and soul are not involved? Renewal of liturgy involves renewal of prayer.”
“On Prayer,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel (1969)
So there are some games out on the table, as well as this joke bowl- I invite people to take and tell jokes, ask your neighbor questions throughout the seder
I should also note that this year is truly a year of doubling down on freedom because tonight is also Shabbos.
“The Sabbath is the day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization.” “ spirit in the form of time.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath
So I invite everyone to find entry into Passover (and Shabbos) together with me with the intention that this seder will be prayer in action. Complete mobilization of heart, mind, and soul out of Egypt, out of bondage, and into Freedom.
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