The Elephant At Your Passover Seder

Haggadah Section: Introduction

There’s an elephant in the room that would like some attention and it’s time we give it to him, because it might literally be a matter of life and death. This elephant has been around as long as the Jewish people, but he’s gotten a lot meaner and scarier since last Passover. The elephant is anti-Jewish hatred. There’s the familiar white supremacy movement that hates everyone who doesn’t look like them, the more subtle I-don’t-really-mean-it-when-I-talk-crap-about Jews kind, and a relatively new and insidious form of hostility directed at Israel which crosses the line to anti-Jewish hate far too often.

Hate is hate. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists… everyone is worse off for it. Are we going to end it? No. But that doesn’t give us permission to throw our hands up and accept it, make excuses, or discount it. It’s exactly the opposite. We must talk about it, write about it, learn about it, and call it out. This is a time for all Jews and allies to be extra courageous.

Now that we’ve acknowledged the elephant, let’s not let him plunder the table. If we do, we’ll never get to the Four Questions, and besides, the matzah ball soup will get cold. Seders end with the phrase Next Year in Jerusalem. We may be going out on a limb here, but we’re guessing that most of us won’t be in Jerusalem next year. We’ll probably be sitting right here. But we can’t take that for granted. We’ve already learned the bitter lesson that true hate is never little, it is never unimportant, and it should never, ever be ignored.

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Table of contents
    Introduction
  • Welcome
  • The Elephant At Your Passover Seder
  • On This Night
  • As we begin tonight's seder...
  • Blessing For Anyone Who Is Not Jewish
  • Take Us Out of Egypt
  • Passover Remembered
  • There's No Seder Like Our Seder
  • Seder = Order
  • A Passover Song
  • Candlelighting
  • Woman's Prayer at Candle Lighting
  • Seder Plate
  • Bashert (Destiny)
    • Commentary / Readings
  • Ruth's Mix
    • Kadesh
  • Kiddush - The Blessing Over the Wine
  • Passover Round
  • A Time of Remembering
  • Question for Discussion
  • Readings on Freedom
  • This Year We Are Slaves
  • What Happens To Them Happens To Me
    • Urchatz
  • Urchatz
    • Karpas
  • Karpas
    • Yachatz
  • Yachatz
    • -- Four Questions
  • Four Questions
    • -- Four Children
  • The Four Sons
  • The Modern Four Sons
    • -- Exodus Story
  • What If God Had Not Taken Our Ancestors Out Of Egypt?
  • Pharoah Pharoah
  • The Story of Passover (Skit)
    • -- Ten Plagues
  • The Ten Plagues
    • -- Cup #2 & Dayenu
  • Dayeinu
  • A Contemporary Dayeinu
  • The Blessing Over the Wine
    • Rachtzah
  • Handwashing With A Blessing
    • Motzi-Matzah
  • Motzi Matzah
  • Historic Manischewitz Ad
    • Maror
  • Maror
    • Koreich
  • Just A Tad of Charoset
  • Korech
    • Shulchan Oreich
  • Shulchan Oreich
    • Tzafun
  • Tzafun
    • Bareich
  • Grace After the Meal
  • The Third Glass of Wine
    • Hallel
  • Echad Mi Yodea?
  • Chad Gadya, Chad Gadya
  • The Fourth Glass of Wine - The Cup of Elijah & Miriam
    • Nirtzah
  • Especially This Year, A Prayer For Our Country
  • Ending the Seder and Thinking About the Future
    • Songs
  • I Could Have Eaten More
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