On April 24th, at the Golf Course, we celebrated a Passover Seder meal with about 40 members of our community. Like last year, it was facilitated by Amy Block and Paul Gellman. A special thanks to all the volunteers who came early and helped plate and heat the traditional foods, all of which were prepared at home by members of our Ecumenical Society. The Golf Course staff also kept busy serving and keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes.
For over three hours, we followed a shorter version of the Passover Haggadah (the telling). During the Seder (order), we explored how Passover customs include telling and sharing of the Story of slavery to freedom, drinking wine, eating matza, and partaking of the symbolic foods. We also learned that Seder is performed using the same ‘order’ by Jews all over the world, and might be the most commonly celebrated of all the Jewish rituals.
Maureen Wild and Ray Appel, Gerald Larson did a couple of readings to further educate participants, and also to help move the Seder forward. Throughout, Amy and Paul welcomed questions and stories that related to parts of the Haggadah. Those in attendance interpreted parts of the Exodus story in a variety of ways, including more modern contexts as they explained their particular ideas and understandings.
Two young girls were also present with their mother, and joyfully contributed by lighting the candles, handing out items to every member of the community, and finding the hidden afikoman (matzah that was broken and hidden at the beginning of the Seder). According to tradition, the Seder cannot be officially concluded until the afikoman is found. The two girls were overjoyed and excited when they found it because then everyone could have desert, (chocolate covered matzah, fresh fruit and macaroons!
All in all a very informative, personal community-building experience. Thank you to Amy and Paul and all the volunteers and staff who helped put the event together!