Monday, March 11, 2013

Passover Seder Dinner

This past Friday, Andrew and I pretended to be Jewish for the night and attend a Passover Seder dinner.  We are in a Judaism and the Gospel class together this semester, and our professor was hosting the event, so we thought it'd be a fun opportunity.  Seder means "order" or "arrangement in Hebrew, but the main idea of the event is the retelling of the Hebrew exodus story.  There are many ancient rituals that are important parts of the feast, including drinking four cups of wine (we had grape juice instead :)) and several foods including matzoh bread, bitter herbs, and a lamb bone.  The matzoh bread is the unleavened bread representing the time when the Hebrews did not have time to let their bread rise so that they could flee from the Egyptians quickly.  The bitter herbs are representative of the bitterness of slavery, and the lamb bone of course represents the sacrificial lamb blood that the Hebrew slaves painted over their door frames to avoid the destroying angel.  There are other foods as well, but those are the most important ones.
The Seder dinner itself is often very very long - it often goes from sundown till midnight.  However, we did an abridged version that lasted three hours instead.  Our host really knew his stuff, having lived in Israel for several years and having been to many authentic Seder dinners hosted by his Jewish friends.  I learned a lot of things, like that you are supposed to lean to the left while eating or drinking the ritual foods, which is reminiscent of the reclining ritual of eating in ancient times.  Also, the kids often get involved by singing some special songs during the retelling, so we got to learn some of those tunes which was pretty fun.  All in all, it was an educational and fun time!

1 comment:

Coleen Schneider said...

I learned a lot about Passover from this post Wooz, so thanks for that.
I used to have a passover dinner with my seminary students in the years we were studying the Old and New Testaments...