We gather once a year around the seder table to eat matzah, to tell the Exodus story, and to fulfill the commandments. At some tables, it’s just that: a traditional trip down memory lane. But if we are going to take the words of the sages seriously, to rise from the table feeling as if we ourselves have been delivered from Egypt, if we want to make this experience count for something, we might want to think outside the limits of the bare minimum.
One thing we can do is to ask the “wicked child’s” question over and over again as we read through the Haggadah: What does this have to do with US? The sages criticize that child because of the way he asks the question: he separates himself from the community. But what if we were to ask the same question in a different spirit, to say, “Where do we fit into this story?” Then more questions will open up:
- When have I been a slave?
- Am I now a slave to someone or something?
- Have I enslaved someone?
- Do I benefit from slave labor?
- What is slavery? Does it still exist?
- What is real freedom?
- What are the plagues in my life?
- Who is not welcome to come and eat at my table? Why?
- Who is hungry within 5 miles of my house? 10 miles?
and the biggie:
• When I rise from the table, what am I personally going to do about my answers to any of those questions?
What questions are you going to ask around your seder table? How will you make your seder count?
- Passover: On slavery and memory (jewishjournal.com)
- In experiencing real freedom, the importance of boundaries (jta.org)
- Easy Passover Ideas (neverpictureperfect.wordpress.com)