Although my family started out with the smallest guest list in years last Passover, we ended up with the most well-attended seder we have ever hosted. Thanks to technology, tradition, and trust, we had more people at our seder table than ever before.
Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin reveals why, of all our biblical luminaries, it is Elijah who visits our homes on Passover, and why we welcome the prophet to our seder table with his own dedicated cup of wine.
As a teenager, I would sit on my bedroom floor listening to old records of Belgian singer-songwriter, poet, and performer Jacques Brel. I didn’t need to keep a journal, because his lyrics wove together everything I felt at the time. Brel had a fire within, and his anger, longing, passion, and truth blazed through every word he sang. His music, raw and real, transformed and fed my soul; it informed and shaped who I am today.
For more than 3,000 years, Jews have gathered to retell the story of Passover and celebrate our deliverance from slavery in Egypt. In the Book of Exodus, we are not only told to observe Passover (Exodus 12: 17); we also are taught that, “In every generation all of us are obliged to regard ourselves as if we ourselves went forth from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 13:8). We must not only gather for seder and replace chametz with matzah, but we also must take ownership of the Passover narrative and experience it anew each year.
The aroma of chocolate eggs (beitzah), chocolate covered matzah, green-colored chocolate (karpas) a solid chocolate seder plate, several chocolate nut clusters (charoset), and a 100% cacao bar (maror) wafted our friends into our home. Three of the five rabbis at the table had never been to a seder – a chocolate seder that is.
“We’re all so unique. How do we bring our full personalities to the table? Wouldn’t it be great if we could embrace tradition and start a conversation that reflects our interesting, hilarious, modern, multi-cultural thought-provoking lives?”
Earlier this year, the United States took meaningful action to further prohibit products made by slave labor to enter our country.
The heroism of the women who made Passover possible is a strong and accurate answer to those who claim that women always play a secondary or subordinate role in Jewish thinking. An orange does not make their case. Telling their story does.