Snow has melted, and warm weather has arrived. It’s time we come out of hibernation. After a year of quarantine and isolation, with new habits formed and life filled with new restrictions, it’s time to make a Seder.
Seder [ˈsādər] NOUN Seder (noun) · Seders (plural noun) a Jewish ritual service and ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover. ORIGIN from Hebrew sēḏer ‘order, procedure’.
Why the dryness? Why term a spiritual experience with a word meaning “procedure” as if it’s a sterile medical exam? Why are we hurriedly consuming precise doses of matzah and wine within exacting amounts of time?
When we left Egypt for the desert, we were a free people. Free from the oppressing Egyptian mindset, where the land, its leader, and its labor were worshipped.
What were we free to do? Anything! We reacquired our agency, and gifted with a Divine handbook to freedom at Mt. Sinai.
And then we ran with it. Developed ourselves, built families, communities, an entire way of life in this freedom.
Yet, the constructs of our freedom can become an oppression of their own, and those things we first knew to be as refreshing freedom and safeties, became oppressive and stifling habits.
So, we make a Seder.
We set aside what our freedom has led us to develop, and we recalibrate. We go through dry procedural motions to bring us back to our initial exodus. Start from the beginning, before the Egyptian oppression, when our grandparent were wandering souls. We walk through the exile. The daily grind laid bare. The worship of the physical, its toil, and hierarchies. The struggle, the desperation and the humiliation.
We walk through the Exodus, the humility of needing redemption, and the grateful acceptance of a newfound freedom.
And after we have thoroughly scrubbed away the exile in our lives, we begin to retrain ourselves to interact with the world in a healthy way.
The taste of true freedom, as taught by Moses.
So that after the Seder, with the Matzah and fourth glass of wine behind us, we know where we are going and we are on the road to where we want to be. So that next year, everything will be in proper order, and we won’t need to make a Seder.
Next year, we’ll be in Jerusalem.
If you or someone you know will be in the hospital, or otherwise needs a Seder plate, let us know here.