On a very personal note, Erev Pesach, the night that the Jewish world sits down for seder, will always be a night that is different from all other nights. For my family, this is more than the traditions of dipping twice and reclining, because during seder four years ago, Rabbi Max proposed. That’s right, he asked a “fifth question.” Each of us have reasons that this night is different from all other nights, reasons that are totally outside the traditions of our haggadah. We may use special dishes or family china, we certainly prepare recipes that we don’t eat year round, and we often configure our dining rooms, living rooms, and furniture in new formations to accommodate our guests. For many, it’s a time to see family from near and far, all under the same roof. For others, it’s a time to bring Jewish and non-Jewish friends together for an interactive and exciting Jewish experience. Still, for others, it’s a time to discuss current cultural and world issues and uncover why this … [Read more...]
It is the greatest story that ever has been told.
One that gave the pilgrims courage to leave the tyranny of King George, to chance the bitter wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean, hoping for the promised land that they would call America. One that provided a ray of light for the African-American slaves through the horrors of slavery, for, they thought, ‘if God was present for the Israelite slaves in the bible, God is there for us as well.’ It was this sliver of faith that kept hope alive. One that has been the cornerstone of faith for countless people who have struggled through depression, addiction, and abuse. It is the story that transcends entertainment into the profound, and into the sublime. And each year, we Jews begin telling our story with a brisket, some matza, and cheap red wine. Where else but around our dinner table (extended through the living room, with mismatched place settings) could we possibly extend memory from our parents and grandparents back to our exodus from Egypt, while at the same time creating … [Read more...]