On the Passover Seder

The Seder should set the stage for a discussion, and the wine is meant to lubricate that. Too much food gets in the way.

March 14, 2018 19:38
4 minute read.
 MARK L. LEVINSONA PASSOVER Seder at the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Paramaribo, Suriname, 2017

A PASSOVER Seder at the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Paramaribo, Suriname, 2017. (photo credit: RANU ABHELAKH/REUTERS)


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Friday marks the twoweek countdown to Passover. While Kol Nidre has taken the media spotlight as the high point of the Jewish calendar, the reality is that its solemnity is dwarfed by the noise, mess, spills, and cacophony of the Passover Seder. (And that’s okay!)

Along with all the excitement and preparations come a lot of stress and tension. This is the exact opposite of what the night is about. The theme of the night is freedom, and everything we do that night is an expression of that freedom. Free people do not arrive at the Seder tired, angry and under stress. They arrive like royalty after an afternoon nap. This, of course, requires preparation, but the mind-set of those preparations should be what can be done to make this as easy and enjoyable as possible.


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