Saturday, March 31, 2007
Attend a Passover Seder
Passover begins at sundown on April 2nd. This Jewish holiday recalls the Exodus from Egypt and is traditionally celebrated with a lengthy communal meal structured to include chants, stories, songs, and readings from a ritual text called a Haggadah. Many of the foods are symbolic; for example, horseradish is served because it brings tears to the eyes, reminding us of the tears shed while the children of Israel were in bondage to Egypt.
The Chabad-Lubavitch outreach organization extends a welcome to anyone who would like to participate in a seder, which is the proper name for the Passover meal. (The Chabad-Lubivitch group is one of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism). To locate a seder near you, check out their website. You need not be observant to attend the seder.
Our church occasionally sponsors a Christian version of a seder, and it always makes for a memorable evening. Because the entire Haggadah would take something like 3 or 4 hours to complete, we have streamlined the event. The Christian can see hidden pictures of Christ the Messiah in so many of the elements of the seder: in the lamb, the Matza bread that is both pierced and striped, in the roasted egg that is set apart like the first-born son.
If you want to launch out on your own and have a Passover in your home, the complete Haggadah text is available here, along with instructions. Or, seek out a "Christ in the Passover" presentation sponsored by the Jews for Jesus.