The game: Jewish Trivia.
The category: Jewish holidays.
The question: What is the holiday of 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). all about?
a. women’s role in Jewish history and the relationship between Judaism and feminism
b. gay and lesbian liberation
c. vegetarianism and animal rights
d. Jewish-Christian understanding
e. Black-Jewish relations
f. Israeli-Palestinian peace
g. labor rights and activism on behalf or workers
If we look at the range of “theme seders” that have emerged in the past 35 years, we can hear the answer in the collective voice of many contemporary Jews: “All of the above!”
Passover is, paradoxically, a quintessentially particularistic Jewish holiday, yet one with universal human themes. Despite (or because of) the fact that Passover marks the metaphorical birthing of the Israelite nation into freedom, and that the theme of yitziat Lit. Egypt. Because the Hebrew word for narrow is tzar, Mitzrayim is also understood as "narrowness," as in, the narrow and confining places in life from which one emerges physically and spiritually.—going out of ancient Egypt—pervades Jewish liturgy and life, the biblical exodus has inspired many peoples over the ages in their yearning to be free.
In the United States, African-American slaves sang “Go down Moses…tell old Pharaoh to let my people go,” the biblical journey to freedom living in their hopeful hearts. Harriet Tubman, the best known of the conductors on the “Underground Railroad,” smuggling escaped slaves to the free North, was known as Moses—her people’s greatest human liberator. Zora Neale Hurston, a writer of the Harlem Renaissance, wove together the two stories in her novel, The quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe.: Man of the Mountain. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., drew heavily on Exodus themes and images, comparing the struggle for civil rights to the Israelites’ difficult but ultimately successful escape from oppression.
As we have done with the institution of Shabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends., living in the wake of the Exodus is something that Jews have made our specialty. We remember the going out from Egypt in our daily liturgy; we count (by rabbinic tradition) no less than 36 times the biblical commandment to “remember the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” But as we’ve seen, the story has had deep resonance for many other peoples. And many of the resonances for Jews ourselves—translated into contemporary theme seders and Passover haggadot—go far beyond the story of our own liberation and national formation.
Here are some examples of these modern adaptations:
- Women’s/feminist seders focus on women’s role in the Exodus and in Jewish history and life; the incomplete liberation of women within Judaism; and feminist reimaginings of 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. texts.
- Gay and lesbian seders draw their inspiration from the ways in which GLBT Jews are still excluded from fully being welcomed into and participating in Jewish life, community, and ritual.
- Vegetarian seders (using, e.g., A Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb) focus on respect for all living beings, not just human freedom.
- Jewish-Christian seders focus on interreligious understanding, a shared biblical heritage, the Jewish roots of Christianity, and joint social justice concerns.
- Black-Jewish seders reflect our common histories of slavery (one ancient, one modern) and our close connection to the biblical text and stories, and focus on (re)building Black-Jewish partnerships for the purpose of working for social change.
- Arab-Jewish seders (using, e.g., “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. of the Children of Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham.,” in The Shalom Seders) focus on building bridges between the two communities, and express a yearning for peace between Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. and the Palestinians and those who care about them.
- Labor seders emphasize labor rights and activism on behalf of workers who are nearly enslaved to unsafe working conditions and poverty wages.
The haggadah texts for these seders are usually rich cut-and-paste productions, drawing on passages from a variety of sources as well as original writings. Each may be used for an entire seder on a given theme or to provide supplemental resources for a more conventional seder on the first or second night of Passover. Freestanding theme seders often take place just before Passover, or on one of its later nights, freeing participants to spend the traditional seder evenings with family and friends—and to import readings which reflect important liberation and social change themes, whether by way of incorporating them into a do-it-yourself original haggadah or just adding readings at the seder table.
Many of these specialized haggadot are available at Judaica shops and online. There is no centralized way to find out about different types of seders in all communities, but (along with the Internet) local Jewish organizations (especially more liberal congregations and havurot) as well as Jewish newspapers are good resources for connecting you with these and other Passover events in your community.
As a postscript, we should take note of those seders and haggadot which are not primarily (or at all) in observance of Passover, but which use the structure of the haggadah and Passover themes of growth, liberation, and transformation. Two examples which you can find on Ritualwell are a menopause seder and a haggadah focusing on adoption.