Thursday, March 21, 2013


HOW to make our seders fun,  
Interesting, & Important.

Why do we open the door 
for Elijah the Prophet?

1. Every adult must bring a question.  Start the seder with the question: what keeps you up at night?  What wakes you in the morning?  (Questions, 4 or 44, are the purpose of the seder.)

2. Make sure that you and your kids are not starving during the seder.  Keep the kids' bellies mostly full.  (After all, its all about engaging the kids.)

3. Try to eat enough horseradish to cry at least one tear.  (After all, the slaves no doubt shed many tears.)

4. Beat someone you love (gently) with a big, bad leek.  (After all, the Egyptians beat alot of Jewish slaves.)

5. Tell a personal story of struggle, of failure, of miracle.  (We want our kids to know our struggles and failures and successes.)

6. Speak candidly about the Wicked Child and/or the Plagues.  (Its not only OK but its important to disagree with the Haggadah, if that's the way you feel.)

7. Sing -- sing some fun, silly Passover songs that you know.  For a bunch of silly songs go to these two links: or
(After all, the Jews sang all the way across the Red Sea.)

8. Share a great dream, a dream that feels too idealistic to share with a typical group of adults.  (After all, the goal of Passover is for us to dream the impossible.  For a wonderful essay on this great dream, as it relates to Israel, read Doniel Hartman's piece entitled Pesach and Israel: A Tale of Two Realities.)

9. Think about the connection between Passover and Israel.  Feel free to study Rabbi Meir's Israel Haggadah, that he began in 2009.  Consult Rabbi Meir's work-in-progress for  enriching questions on: Our Obligation to the Poor,  The Four Questions, The Four Sons, The 10 Plagues and much more.  Even at this early stage, Rabbi Meir's Israel Haggadah is a serious tutorial on the historic Jewish connection to the land of Israel.

10. What about opening the door for Elijah?  I want to quote from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: 
"Loving humanity must begin with loving our family; first and foremost our nuclear     family. We read in the prophetic portion of this past Shabbat (Shabbat HaGadol) that Elijah will bring everyone back to God by uniting parents with their children and children with parents. The biblical source of sibling hatred (the Joseph story), which has plagued Jewish history up to and including the present day, will be repaired by Elijah, who will unite the hearts of the children and the parents together in their commitment to God.
     "Toward the end of the Seder, we open the door for Elijah and welcome him to drink from the cup of redemption poured especially for him. . .  Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson, teaches that we open the door not so much to let Elijah in as to let ourselves out. . .  We must go out after them and bring them in – perhaps together with Elijah, whom we will need desperately to unite the entire family of Israel around the Seder table."

No comments:

Post a Comment