The holiday of Passover is an important one in the Jewish faith. It’s one of our important holidays, and even non-religious Jews often celebrate it. Celebrate may not be the most accurate word for everyone, since it involves a painfully long meal, the “seder”, which consists mainly of eating small bites of food and saying many, many prayers while telling a long story about suffering. You do also, however, drink four full glasses of wine.
For me, Passover has always been about learning and teaching. When I was young, I learned more about it every year. Part of the ceremony does involve the youngest asking questions about the holiday, it’s built right in!
For this reason, it’s the perfect holiday to share with friends and family who may not also be Jewish. I’ve been to a few Passovers at a Hillel organization during college where I knew only the person I went with, and those were always open to everyone. I’ve almost always met someone new at a seder.
Here are some tips for sharing your seder with those you love! But the most important is to make it your own.
Don’t worry if you have everything! Here at Sneer HQ we are world famous for waiting until the last minute for things, and we do not have everything we need.
In the place of a shank bone, bitter herbs, a simple vegetable, and more, we’ll have small drawings adorning our plate, courtesy of Amandoll.
Some Passover traditions may be based primarily on keeping the children at the event occupied. One such tradition is hiding the afikomen, a piece of matzah that you break at the beginning of the seder. Later, the children hunt it down in exchange for a possible prize.
If you keep this tradition in your Friends Seder, they can have that delightful taste of an Easter Egg hunt, but without the promise of candy.
The Four Questions
These questions are vital to learning more about the holiday and why we observe the traditions that we do. It’s the best learning opportunity, and you don’t even have to let people think of their own quesions!
Tradition dictates that the youngest at the table ask these, but anyone should ask! The point is to share what you know with someone, to share your traditions, and to tell the story. We actually start with a fifth question, leading into the four:
How is this night different from all other nights?
- On all other nights, we eat chametz (leavened foods) and matzah. Why on this night, only matzah?
- On all other nights, we eat all vegetables. Why, on this night, maror (bitter herbs)?
- On all other nights, we don’t dip even once. Why on this night do we dip twice?
- On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we all recline?
The Passover Story
Now, I’m not saying you have to go through each step of the hours-long meal, as laid out in your dog-eared haggadah, but the story is important. It’s the whole shebang! Tell that story of the Jews and their exodus from slavery in Egypt, with all the flair you can muster.
Or you can just watch the Rugrats episode about it!
Once you’re done with your seder and entertaining your friends and family, make sure to have a nice relaxing sleep. After all, there’s a second seder tomorrow!