I am so thrilled to have my friend (IRL), band sistah, fellow blogger, and someone who I just all-around look up to, Ruchi Koval, guest posting today. Ruchi has a fabulous blog, Out of the Ortho Box, that I highly recommend you go and check out. It’s one of the only places I’ve seen on the web where people with very disparate opinions and beliefs talk nicely to each other about contentious issues. I know that Ruchi is genuinely interested in understanding where people are coming from, which seems to be a rare thing sometimes. And it’s great content, the amazing atmosphere aside.
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Word association game: Seder.
What do you think of?
Yup, all those are features of the seder. But I’ll bet the most important word is the one you haven’t thought of.
Amidst all the traditional foods, cousins, and hoopla, it’s easy to forget that the actual mitzvah of the seder, its raison d’etre, is to talk to your children about our national history. Kids: we’re here. We’re Jews. And we used to be in Egypt. And God saved us. Miraculously! And then he gave us the Torah! And we still have it till today! We’re so happy and grateful! Let’s eat. After we do some other stuff. ‘Kay?
If you don’t have kids, talk to someone else’s kids! If you’re not with kids, talk to each other! And if you’re alone, well, the Talmud actually says you should ask yourself the Four Questions, and then answer yourself. Not a sign of dementia, just a sign that communication is the name of the game.
So before the Seder, ask yourself these Four Questions.
1. What is it that I would like the next generation to know about Judaism?
2. How can I communicate that message most effectively?
3. At what part of the Seder can this be done?
4. What will I, personally, get out of this process?
Blessings on the journey – and have a wonderful holiday!