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.

Exodus 12
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.


Mary Christine said...

What a blessing it is to be able to be part of something so ancient and sacred.

Manny said...

We just had our pesach seder this evening. If you caught it on one of my blogs, my wife is jewish. It wasn't so religious though. Normally we go over to her mother's house for this where it's certainly more traditional, but her house is under construction, so my wife tried to pick up the slack. Still I love the jewish holidays. I always say I'm jewish on my wife's side.

"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"

How wonderful Kathy! That is so special. Our Christianity is so rooted in jewish roots and frankly I think our Catholicism is the most rooted in comparison to the other Christian denominations.