The central message of the Passover Seder is this: “In each generation, every individual should feel personally redeemed from Egypt.” This means that Passover is not only a recitation of our people’s redemption from the land of slavery. Pesach must ring with contemporary meaning as we seek ways to liberate ourselves from old habits and ways of thinking that enslave us.
This might seem like a mighty big challenge. But one place we can all begin is by infusing our Passover Seders with new approaches that enhance the customs and practices we so dearly love. To accomplish this, here are some wonderful online resources you can easily access.
Jewish Learning Works (formerly, the Bay Area’s Bureau of Jewish Education) has a great Guide for Passover that includes practical suggestions for enlivening your Seder. It includes a marvelous essay by NY Times columnist David Brooks about the flawed leadership style of Moses that could spark conversation.
If you have the responsibility of leading a Seder, here is a resource with helpful tips. This link also has some delicious recipes for Charoset, including Venetian and Yemenite.
Passover offers an opportunity to shine a light on contemporary slavery. Just as Passover calls upon us to feel as if we ourselves were slaves, it calls upon us not to avert our eyes to the trafficking and bondage that surround us. Jewish Learning Works compiled some materials to help us learn and teach.
As we all know, the Seder is not just for adults. Indeed it is a mitzvah to engage children throughout the Seder (or, for really young children, at least through the time that the meal is served). Here are some great crafts and activities for kids.
Lastly, what would Passover be without songs like Dayeinu, Avadim Hayinu, and Chad Gadya? But it doesn’t hurt to add in a new Pesach song – or video. Check out this resource for Pesach music from Reform Judaism. The last video is a really cute parody of Let it Go from Frozen. It’s called (natch) “Let us Go!”
Passover arrives two weeks from tonight. It’s never too early for us to be preparing for a meaningful, sweet Pesach.