Every year, Jews the world over spend days or weeks planning their Passover Seder. But the sad truth is, so many Seders are as dull as a piece of plain matzah. They don’t have to be. Just follow these simple steps to host a Seder that will inspire and delight!
The Seder Police
There are none. Yes, there are certain traditions to a Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees.. In fact, the word Seder actually means “order,” and there is a specific order that you are supposed to follow. But if you’re the Seder Leader (SL), you are the master of the table. So if you want to have a rip-roaring Seder, do whatever feels right. Personally, I think many Haggadahs are deadly dull. So many people take control and make their own Haggadahs. Feel free to download mine or make your own. (But for God’s sake, don’t wait until the day before Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc)..)
Watch Out For Too Much Hebrew (Aka Don’t Play “Who’s A Better Jew?”)
You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re at a Seder with like 15 people, and there are only four who know the words to some Hebrew song, and the rest of you sit there uncomfortably while they stumble through it? Me, too. And it makes me feel like a bad Jew, wondering, “Why didn’t my Jewish education prepare me for this?” This is NOT the feeling you want to elicit at your Seder. So if you’re going to include Hebrew, make sure your guests understand it, or keep it to a minimum.
Haters Gonna Hate
Last year, I was helping my friend Jenna lead a Seder, and just as everyone was sitting down at the table, Jenna’s mother-in-law proclaimed, “Let’s make this quick; I’m hungry!” Are you kidding me? Nothing like a comment like that to take the wind right out of yours sails. Just know that problematic people will make negative comments sometimes, and power through it. (At the end of the night, Nasty Mother-In-Law actually said it was the best Seder she had ever been to. Oh, Snap!)
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
If SLs spent as much time preparing their Seder service as cooks spend preparing the Seder meal, celebrating Passover would be a lot more meaningful. But what happens all too often is that the SL thinks he/she can just wing it – and they can’t. You have to spend real time preparing your Seder. It will make all the difference. Seders do not have to be boring, but SLs do need to step it up.
Know Your Audience
Who’s going to be at your Seder? If you’re having Jews and non-Jews, then be prepared to explain a lot of stuff. Hell, even if it’s only Jews coming, you should still give explanations. I have been going to Seders my entire life, and it was not until I put together my own Lit. "Telling.” The haggadah is the book used at the seder table on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus, the central commandment of the holiday. It is rich in song, prayer, and legend. There are many different version of the Haggadah produced throughout Jewish history. that I really learned the details. If you are hosting a cerebral group of guests and want to go around the room and ask what freedom means to each of them, go right ahead; but don’t try that with a crowd like mine. If you’re having a bunch of kids over, make sure you either serve appetizers or have snacks on the table. And I am not opposed to setting up A Rugrats Passover in the den for the kids who hit the wall.
Wine Is Your Friend
Not much to say about this one except it’s more fun singing “Dayenu” with a buzz.
The Jews Are Counting On You
Leading a kick-ass Seder is important! What if it’s the only Jewish experience your cousin Rachel has the entire year? It’s your job to inspire her with some fun and spirituality. Yes, that’s a lot of pressure, but you’re up to it! Now go have a fabulous Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc).!
Download this 7-Step Guide, Haggdah, and Tips & Tricks below. Created by Archie Gottesman and Stacy Stuart, JewBelong hopes to inspire you to make your Judaism more “kick ass.” Learn more at http://www.jewbelong.com/.