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Passover Information

PLEASE REGISTER FOR SECOND SEDER HERE

As the full moon of the second night of Pesach rises in the sky, we will gather by the glow of our computers to see each others’ faces and journey together from slavery to freedom. We’ll delve into the personal and collective meanings of constriction and oppression, and explore ways to build liberation in our hearts, homes and in the world.

Schedule:

Part 1: 5:30 – 7:00 PM

 

Break for dinner from 7:00 – 8:00 PM

 

Part 2: 8:00 PM

We will begin at 5:30PM for ritual, song and exploration together until 7PM. Then we’ll pause for folks to eat dinner. For those who would like to rejoin the group at 8:00PM, we will conclude the Seder with a whole lot of singing and further discussion! Feel free to join in or jump off the call as you need to. Get out of your pajamas and put on something spring-like and celebratory!

 

Websites with learning resources and ideas

  • A wide range of Haggadot (including feminist, children-oriented, Hasidic teachings and humour): haggadot.com or opensiddur.org (type haggadah in the search) 
  • HIAS Haggadah – focused on the global refugee crisis
  • Learn the Ma Nishtana (The Four Questions) With Jason Mesches CLICK HERE

 

Things to prepare for the Seder ahead of time (and some creative alternatives!):

1) Seder Plate including:

  • Zro’a/shank bone – a reminder of the sacrificial Pascal lamb and God’s “outstretched arm” freeing the Israelites – use a slightly charred chicken bone, meat bone or roasted “sacrificial beet” (It’s not eaten but it is part of the Seder)
  • Beytzah/Egg – use a hard boiled egg – a reminder of the Chagigah/holyday offering in the times of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem and a symbol of life
  • Karpas/green herb – the taste of spring – use parsley, watercress, celery or any leafy fresh herb. Some Ashkenazi Jews use a boiled potato as karpas. You can also have other veggies and dips to nosh on
  • Charoset – both a connection to the mortar the Israelite slaves used for making bricks and to the taste of sweetness and sensuousness of the apple orchard and love in the Song of Songs, read on Pesach. There are wonderful charoset recipes on-line. Perhaps you want to try a new recipe this year from Sephardic, Mizrachi or Ashkenazi traditions
  • Maror – bitter herbs symbolizing the bitterness of slavery. You can use dry pieces of horseradish root or mashed horseradish/chreyn from a jar. 
  • Chazeret – Another kind of bitter herb, usually green onion or lettuce
  • Salt water – tasting the tears of oppression and slavery
  • Feel free to add other symbols of enslavement and oppression in our world right now, as well as symbols of hope, freedom and transformation

 

2) Matzah – both the bread of slavery and the bread of freedom. Put 3 pieces of matzah on a plate for ritual purposes with a matzah cover on top.

3) Afikomen bag or cloth to wrap the afikomen, the half matzah that is hidden early in the Seder and is searched for, found and eaten at the end of the meal.

4) Candles – 2 or more to celebrate the beginning of the holyday.

5) Grape juice or wine – fruit of the vine, symbolic of joy and abundance. The four cups of wine are connected to 4 different phrases about liberation in Exodus 6:6 (“I will free you;” “I will deliver you;” “I will redeem you;” “I will take you to be My people.”)

6) Cos Eliyahu/Elijah’s cup whose presence connects us to future liberation.

7) Cos Miriam/Miriam’s Cup with water in it, connects us to Miriam’s well, a limitless source of sustenance in the wilderness.

8) Pitcher of water, bowl and towel for 2 different hand washing moments in the Seder.

Other Preparations before the Seder

Cleaning out Chametz

Chametz is leaven. The practice of removing all grain products from our homes for Pesach (bread, pasta, cereal, cookies, etc.) is linked to our Sages’ interpretation of chametz, foods that are ‘puffed up’, as representing arrogance and the impulse to self-centred and harmful action, embodied by Pharaoh. Freedom from human oppression requires humility, care for others and quick, decisive action, represented by matzah.

This is a great time to clean out your cupboards, to donate food and funds to food banks, to clean out your closets and donate clothing. 

Activity: Bedikat Chametz/Final Search for Chametz by Candlelight

On March 26th at night, wrap some crumbs of bread in tinfoil and hide them throughout your home (remember where you hid them). Then have a chametz scavenger hunt by the light of candle. Scoop up each bread crumb with a wooden spoon and a feather (if you have them). Put all the crumbs in a bowl and burn them in the morning. May all our moral and spiritual chametz go up in smoke!

Ways you can help others this Pesach

  • Leket Israel, the National Food Bank, is the leading food rescue organization in Israel – www.leket.org/en 
Sat, June 12 2021 2 Tammuz 5781