What is a seder?

Haggadah Section: Introduction

In celebration of Passover, we are commanded to hold or attend a Seder and retell the story of our liberation from Egypt. During our Seder, meaning order, we will follow the order of the rituals required to properly tell the story. Instead of just reading the story from the Torah (first five books of the Bible/cornerstone of Jewish text) we use a combination of symbolic food and ask questions.

The Exodus story is one of redemption from slavery. We are retell this story to remember that we too were slaves and once strangers in a different land. It is said that as we tell the story, we also embody the feeling of being slaves and move towards liberation as we move through our Seder. It is for this reason, that many people relate the Passover story to modern forms of slavery. Passover invites us to not only retell this story of freedom from slavery in the past, but to also consider the plight of those who are not free today and reminds us to be welcoming to those seeking freedom. Slavery can take many forms, including being treated outright as property, or being unjustly controlled through economics by those with more power. Many of us are descended from people who were once enslaved. Even with no personal experience of slavery, most beings seem to passionately want freedom. It matters that we take note of who and where others are not free, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Let's remember those who are not currently free.

As we go through our Seder tonight, you will see some additions to the traditional text that speak more to this idea of social justice.

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Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.


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