Passover Seder - HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Shasta, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Shasta

    Shasta On his shell he holds the earth.

    So, we all know I'm the least religious person of all time. I've been invited to Passover seder and, because it was important to the person who invited me, I agreed.

    Now I'm clueless as to what to:
    - Do
    - Wear
    - Bring

    Mostly the wear and bring part. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
     
  2. blunthead

    blunthead Well-Known Member

  3. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

  4. Bryan James

    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    A bottle of Mogen David?

    Have not studied a lot of the Jewish traditions. I guess I'm saving that religion for the last.
     
  5. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    What to Expect at a Passover Seder
    BY:
    RABBI DEBBIE STIEL
    PRINTSHARE ON EMAILEMAILMORE SHARING SERVICESSHARE






    So you're going to a Passover seder at someone's house? Wonderful! Here are some things to know before you go.

    What's a seder?
    The seder, a festive holiday meal, actually means "order." It is called this because the meal is done in a certain order which takes us from slavery to freedom. The Haggadah - which means "the telling" - is the book used at the Passover seder. The Haggadah explains the foods on the seder plate, recounts the highlights of the Exodus, and includes songs, prayers, questions and vignettes.

    How serious is this?
    Seders are meant to be low-key and fun. Questions are welcome and a lighthearted spirit is in order. After all, we are celebrating that we are not slaves anymore. At the seder we can rejoice, take our time, and ponder the questions of freedom and service to God. Many people recline at the seder to celebrate being free.

    Why is the Exodus from Egypt so important for Jews?

    1. Because of the Exodus, the idea of enslavement formed a permanent impression on our collective consciousness. This, coupled with continuing admonitions in the Bible to take care of the less fortunate, has led us to be a people perennially concerned with world injustices and the disenfranchised.
    2. The Exodus is our archetypal story of God as Deliverer and Redeemer. Here we learn that injustices can be fought and that we can draw strength from God.
    3. With this expulsion from Egypt we became a people (no longer just a family group) on a symbolic as well as physical journey. Here we start our journey to Sinai where we will receive the Ten Commandments. We leave Egypt to serve God and to head toward the Promised Land.
    What should I wear?
    Ask your hosts whether guests will be dressing casually or in more dressy attire.

    What should I bring?
    Ask your hosts what you can bring for the seder, or for the dinner. Your host might ask you to bring the hard boiled eggs, the kosher horseradish, a vegetable dish, grape juice or kosher-for-Passover wine. If they don't specify what to bring, it is still nice to bring kosher-for-Passover candy or chocolates (found in many grocery stores at this time of year), flowers, or wine (the bottle must say it is kosher for Passover). Remember, if you are preparing a dish, it cannot contain any flour or grain (wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats) or it must say that it is kosher for Passover on the box.

    What do I say when I arrive?
    You can say Gut yontif (Good Holy Day), Happy Passover, or Chag Sameach (Happy Festival).

    What's on the big plate?
    You will see the seder plate with the symbolic foods, and three matzot (plural of matzah) wrapped up together. There are several explanations for the three matzot - the simplest is that two matzot are reminders of the double amount of manna that Jews in the desert collected on Shabbat and holidays, and one matzah is used for the breaking of the matzah in the seder.

    Whose wine cup is in the middle of the table?
    There will be a cup of wine that is filled for Elijah the prophet. There is a tradition that Elijah visits every Jewish home on Passover to witness the celebration, and perhaps to bring us this time into a messianic age (a time of peace and freedom for all). Two more recent customs can include putting a cup of water on the table to remind us of Miriam's well that traveled with the Israelites in the desert, and putting an orange on the seder plate.

    What's going on?
    Usually there is one person who is the leader of the Seder. This person will usually ask people to read various parts of the Haggadah. The good news is that the Haggadah is written to take us through the seder in the proper order. You don't have to memorize anything ahead of time. Remember that four cups of wine (or grape juice) will be drunk to remind us of the four promises of redemption in Exodus 6:6-7. You can drink just a little each time!

    How about a preview?
    Here's the basic order of most seders:

    • Kadesh: The Kiddush blessing marking the holiness of this day and candles are lit, too, to mark the beginning of the holiday.
    • Urchatz: A ritual washing of the hands (not found in some Reform Hagaddot).
    • Karpas: Eating a vegetable (often parsley) dipped in saltwater; with this step we combine the hopefulness of Spring (represented by the vegetable) with the tears of slavery (the salt water).
    • Yachatz: Breaking of the middle matzah; we remember the brokenness that slavery represents.
    • Maggid: The telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. This story begins with the youngest person at the seder asking the Four Questions (Mah Nishtanah), and don't worry; if you're the youngest and Hebrew isn't your area of expertise, you're off the hook! These questions provide the impetus for telling why this night is different from all other nights.
    • Rachtzah: Washing of the hands a second time, done with a blessing since you are going to eat more substantial food.
    • Motzi: The recitation of the blessing before eating (leavened or unleavened) bread
    • Matzah: A special blessing said before eating matzah at the seder
    • Maror: Eating the bitter herbs to taste the bitterness of slavery.
    • Korech: Eating a sandwich of matzah and bitter herbs in fulfillment of Numbers 9:11. Then we eat a sandwich of matzah, maror, and charoset (a sweet chopped dish usually made with apple, nuts, cinnamon and grape juice)
    • Shulchan Oruch: Eating the dinner, which traditionally includes matzah ball soup, hard boiled eggs, gefilte fish, meat and vegetables, and macaroons.
    • Tzafun: A piece of the matzah that had been broken earlier has been hidden. This piece, known by the Greek word afikoman, is now found and eaten before the seder can continue. Often the kids are sent to look for it. This is one of several ways that the compilers of the hagaddah entertain the kids. Finding the afikoman symbolizes a move from brokenness toward healing. The afikoman (now the matzah of freedom) is supposed to be the last thing you eat on this evening.
    • Barech: The recitation of the Birkat HaMazon, the grace after meals.
    • Hallel: The recitation or singing of Psalms of praise.
    • Nirtzah: A prayer that God accept our service; as our ancestors have for hundreds of years, we end our Seders with the words "lashana haba'a b'irushalayim!" - Next year may we be in Jerusalem! With these joyful words we hope to join with all Jews in a peaceful Jerusalem and we remember to keep working to make the world a better place.
    Chag Sameach! Have a wonderful holiday!

    What should I wear?
    Ask your hosts whether guests will be dressing casually or in more dressy attire.

    What should I bring?
    Ask your hosts what you can bring for the seder, or for the dinner. Your host might ask you to bring the hard boiled eggs, the kosher horseradish, a vegetable dish, grape juice or kosher-for-Passover wine. If they don't specify what to bring, it is still nice to bring kosher-for-Passover candy or chocolates (found in many grocery stores at this time of year), flowers, or wine (the bottle must say it is kosher for Passover). Remember, if you are preparing a dish, it cannot contain any flour or grain (wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats) or it must say that it is kosher for Passover on the box.

    What do I say when I arrive?
    You can say Gut yontif (Good Holy Day), Happy Passover, or Chag Sameach (Happy Festival).
     
  6. Shasta

    Shasta On his shell he holds the earth.

    Thank you so much, Spidey. You're amazing.

    What is Mogen David, Bryan James?
     
  7. Shasta

    Shasta On his shell he holds the earth.

  8. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    I think maybe Mogen David is a type of wine?

    I just looked it up and apparently it is a type of fortified wine and it's kosher. I guess you could buy that in a liquor store? I had a Jewish friend but he just drank whatever wine I was serving. He was not from a very strict family I guess!
     
    Shasta, VultureLvr45, GNTLGNT and 3 others like this.
  9. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    Many Passover foods and wines are easily available at your local grocery. Mine has a special section this time of year just for such products.
    Mogen David is a wine used during Passover.
     
  10. HollyGolightly

    HollyGolightly Well-Known Member

    What an honor - that sounds so cool! I'm Catholic but I'd love to go to a Passover seder. It's so intimately related to Holy Week and Easter. I think they'll help you out with what to do - if they know you well enough to invite you, they know you won't know Jewish customs.
     
  11. danie

    danie AKA danie

    I admire you greatly for going...definition of tolerance!
     
    Shasta, GNTLGNT, Autumn Gust and 4 others like this.
  12. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I always enjoy religious rituals as a learning experience. Well, okay, I'm not up for a high funeral mass anymore. I've learned enough about that.

    Good on you for going with search earnestness. Have fun!
     
    Neesy, Shasta, Spideyman and 5 others like this.
  13. VultureLvr45

    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    Shasta,
    I'm with Pops on this one... Good for you to go and learn and want to bring something and take the forethought to dress in keeping with their customs. How thoughtful. Looking foward to your thoughts after...
     
    Neesy, Shasta, Spideyman and 3 others like this.
  14. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT Why Chew Through The Restraints?

  15. VultureLvr45

    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    Shasta,

    What day is the seder?
     
  16. Out of Order

    Out of Order What Christmas is All About

    I believe it is this Sederday. :D
     
  17. Bryan James

    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    As a last resort (for me it would be the first) ask them.
     
  18. carrie's younger brother

    carrie's younger brother Well-Known Member

    As a Catholic, I too would love to attend a Passover seder. It is fascinating how Catholicism, Judaism and Islam all intersect. For instance, I had no idea until recently that both Jesus and Mary appear in the Quran.
     
  19. Shasta

    Shasta On his shell he holds the earth.

    I really thought it was an honor as well. My husband is from an incredibly non-practicing Jewish family so we know nothing and it's super nice that they wanted to include us.

    Thanks! Of all religions that don't make sense to me, Judaism makes the most sense and I have the least experience with it so it'll be cool. I'm willing to try most things at least once!

    Me too! I'm always down for learning. Though I'm with you on funeral mass - though I do pretty much anything I can do get out of any funeral at all!

    I was able to talk to a former coworker who was Jewish and she gave me TONS of great advice so I'm feeling more comfortable!

    I think it's supposed to be on actual Passover (yesterday) but they are doing it on Friday.



    Thank you all so much for your help and encouraging words!!!!
     
  20. HollyGolightly

    HollyGolightly Well-Known Member

    I bet the food will be fabulous! Enjoy it - and
    I didn't know that either! But I can understand why - regardless of religion, they were important historical figures in 1st century Palestine.
     

Share This Page

 Revival