Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A multi-denominational Seder

Last night was the beginning of the Jewish holiday, Passover....and plans were made to have a Seder (service) here at my home.

I spent several days preparing some of the traditional foods for the Seder: Matzoh ball soup, charoses (apples, nuts, and wine mixture), a beef brisket, a roasted chicken, matzoh stuffing...as well as a jello mold, sauteed asparagus and fresh tomatoes and basil. For dessert I had chocolate covered matzoh, flourless honey cake, and macaroons. Everything eaten during the Passover holiday must be unleavened which can be challenging....but definitely do-able.

My dear friends, Sharon and Gary attended, as well as my nephew (who is currently a student at U. of Alabama) and his girlfriend.

Out of the six of us, four were Jewish and two were not....the girlfriend (Lutheran) and Dave (Presbyterian).

With this in mind, I decided to copy and paste excerpts from the Haggadah (prayer book that is used during the Seder) to make it more understandable for the two of them.

I boldly asked Dave if he would like to be the leader of the service and he shocked me by saying "yes". I was thrilled....and, he did an amazing job...especially for not being Jewish.

It was really a lovely night as we went through the pages that I had printed out and took turns reading the different passages. At times the conversation turned toward some of our different religious beliefs and I loved that. Religion can be such a divisive topic...and, it was nice to see some of the commonalities.

On the Passover "plate" there are several items that are meaningful to the holiday: Charoses-to represent the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses in Egypt;Maror, or horseradish-to symbolize the bitterness and harshness of the slavery; Roasted shankbone-symbolizing the lamb that was offered in the Temple of Jerusalem; parsley (or another green)-that is dipped into salt water to represent the tears felt by the Jewish slaves in Egypt; and, finally, a hard-boiled egg-symbolizing the festival sacrifice that was offered in the Temple as well as representing springtime when Passover occurs.

As I set the roasted egg on one of the Passover plates, I decided to dye the other egg in a bright color with a heart and a peace symbol painted on. I explained to my guests that in honor of the different religions being there, I wanted to have an Easter egg there to represent the love and peaceful understanding that all of us of varied religious backgrounds had that night.

I'm still smiling about that part... : )

1 comment:

Granny Annie said...

What a lovely service you hosted and you put so much thought into the sharing of tradition. My only question is, what is a "roasted" egg?