Why We Are Together Tonight
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Why We Are Together Tonight
We have come together this evening for many reasons.
We are here because Spring is all around, the Earth is reborn,
and it is a good time to celebrate with family and friends.
We are here because we are Jews,
because we are members of the Jewish nation,
with its deep historic roots and its valuable old memories and stories.
We are here to remember the old story of the liberation of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt
- a great struggle for freedom and dignity.
We are here because the struggle for human freedom never stops.
We are here to remember all people - Jews and non-Jews - who are still struggling for their freedom.
As we feel how wonderful and important it is for diverse peoples to come together,
let us recite and then sing the words of HINNEH MAH TOV.
HINNEH, MAH TOV - BEHOLD, HOW GOOD! (Adaptation* of T'hillim / Psalms 133.1)
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
when peoples* dwell together in unity!
Hinneh, mah tov u-mah naim
shevet ammim* gam yahad!
(*originally "brothers", or "achim")
by JEANNE LOHMANN
All day I try to say nothing but thank you,
breathe the syllables in and out with every step I
take through the rooms of my house and outside into
a profusion of shaggy-headed dandelions in the garden
where the tulips’ black stamens shake in their crimson cups.
I am saying thank you, yes, to this burgeoning spring
and to the cold wind of its...
Jews from Spain, Italy, Sicily, Morocco, Tunisia, and Sardinia would bring the Seder plate to the table with ceremony. Sometimes, they would cover it with a nice scarf and sing as it arrived to the table. They would pass it from person to person around the table, and place it on each head for a moment. This demonstrates that we were once slaves in Egypt and carried heavy burdens on our heads. In...
The Third Cup of Wine
A cup to the freedom fighters
this is a prayer for all freedom fighters, a prayer for the tired, the burnt out, the heartsick, the cynical
this is a prayer for all freedom fighters brave enough to cry, for the reaching around of arms, the firm handclaps of comradeship, the sanctuary of bodies when we need to hide our faces.
this is a prayer for wordless...
Jill Levore's book Ghettoside argues that black boys are being murdered by their peers and their murders are being ignored by the police. In following the stories of a few victims in LA she finds the good cops among the indifferent and explores how a distrust in the police and a disbelief that the police would work for the community leaves disaster in its wake.
The central imperative of the Seder is to tell the story. The Bible instructs: “ You shall tell your child on that day, saying: ‘This is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt.' ” (Exodus 13:8) We relate the story of our ancestors to regain the memories as our own. Elie Weisel writes: God created man because He loves stories. We each have a story to tell — a story of enslavement, struggle,...
So this is Maggid,
The part of the seder where we tell the story
Of leaving Egypt.
We spend more time talking about talking about the story
Then telling the actual story.
Very meta is our haggadah,
With many numbers,
Lots of fours:
Four cups of wine
Four ways of asking,
Why is this night...
The beginning of the seder seems strange. We start with kiddush as we normally would when we begin any festive meal. Then we wash, but without a blessing, and break bread without eating it.
What’s going on here?
It seems that the beginning of the seder is kind of a false start. We act as if we are going to begin the meal but then we realize that we can’t – we...
More Clips from Machar Congregation
We have answered the four traditional questions, but there are still more questions to be answered.
There are other special foods on our Seder plate:
a bone (z'roa) or a beet,
a roasted egg (beitsah)
and, many people's favorite, the sweet condiment (haroset).
Why are they here?
Z'ROA - SHANKBONE OR BEET
Z'ROA can mean a shankbone - the bone...
[Announces the name of the child or children who found the `aphiqoman.]
Let us continue our seder by eating one last little piece of matsah to leave us with the taste of freedom's struggles.
[Everyone eat a last piece of matsah.]
Now, let us conclude our seder.
We have recalled struggles against slavery and injustice.
We have sung of...
We have drunk the wine and tasted the special foods of the Passover celebration. They symbolize our attachment to the traditions of our culture, to freedom, and to life. To remind us of these values as we go back out into the world, at the end of our festival meal, we shall return to have a final taste of matsah - our symbol of suffering and liberation, of renewal in nature and humanity.