Passover is a Jewish festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom.
The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two nights (in Israel just the first night) of the holiday. The seder is a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzoh (unleaven bread) and maror (
This week our Middle School students hosted a special seder to celebrate Passover and invited our Lower and Upper School students to join them for this sacred event. The students used a simple, kid-friendly Haggadah for the service and the Sher family loaned us their seder book and plate. Mr. Khan helped make it personal and relevant for the students, encouraging them to discuss times when they have felt bound in their lives and what experiences of slavery people around the world might currently be experiencing.
After asking the question that traditionally starts every seder, "Why is this night different from all other nights?", Director of Religious Studies Mirza Khan led the students in asking the four questions also included in traditional seders:
- On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza. Why is this?
- On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables and herbs, but on this night we have to eat bitter herbs. Why is this?
- On all other nights we don't dip our vegetables in salt water, but on this night we dip them twice. Why is this?
- On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining. Why is this?
"It was so sweet and inspiring listening to the children's responses," said Campus Minister Sally Jaeger, "It was a wonderful community building experience in which students came together to celebrate this tradition."
View photos here.