Monday, April 18, 2011
Seders Long Ago
As a child I would join my friend's family for the Passover seder. We would sit at a long table full of family and friends, each holding the Hebrew/English translations of the Passover story, eating our bitter herbs and drinking Mogan Daivd wine at the appropriate time. My friend's grandfather presided over the table, the Godfather as I referred to him, as we each had our turn to read. The house would be "cleaned" keeping a kosher kitchen with special dishes, pots and pans as the regular kitchenware was pack away. There would be special treats and Matzah and chicken pipiks to eat. A pipik is a belly button/navel, which chickens don't have, so I am not exactly sure what we were eating, but it was required.
I grew up Protestant in a neighborhood primarily Jewish or Catholic. I could say the Baruch over candles on Friday night and Hail Mary on Sunday but knew little about being Methodist other than I didn't really fit there. I loved both Catholic and Jewish faiths with their rich traditions. I was honored to be asked to join the seders.
The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. . . .The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. . . “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance. passage lookup link
Baruch attah Adonai, eloheynu melech ha-olam, boray p'ri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.