BRJC celebrates communal Passover Seder

Posted on April 16, 2012

The communal seder, the second night of Passover, was meaningful and delightful.  Rabbi Rosenberg led the many congregants and guests in a participatory-style evening full of song, history lessons and questions.  Participants included individuals of all ages and experiences; some who were experiencing a seder for the first time and others who were seasoned veterans.  Everyone was encouraged to ask questions – and that’s what they did.  Why do we lean in our seats?  To celebrate our freedom from slavery.

Unique customs were explained.  Why is there an orange on the seder plate?  One reason given is to represent the people who are marginalized in Jewish life. What about the scallions on the table?  That is a Sephardic custom:  it resembles a tiny bullwhip, to “whip” the other guests as the Egyptian taskmasters whipped the Israelites.  This caused a near riot in the ballroom.

A full traditional meal was served including matzo ball soup, tsimmes, kugel, chicken and several delicious desserts.  No one went home hungry.

The highlight of the evening had to be the children’s raucous demonstration of the ten plagues.  They were especially good at illustrating the plague of frogs.  The children were kept busy throughout with singing and hunting the Afikomans (two this time).  They helped Rabbi Rosenberg open the door to welcome Elijah.

It was a pleasure to meet new people and get to know acquaintances better.  Many personal stories came out of the evening, bringing the community closer together.

The seder ended with the traditional prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem.”