The 'secret' for the Pesach Seder could be summarize with these three words: "Preparation. Preparation. Preparation."
Let me explain.
1. Write an email today to each member of your family. Assign to each one of them to be in charge of one part of the Hagada. Ask the little ones to read, sing, explain 'Ma Nishtana'. Ask the young ones, for example, to search online about Gilad Shalit and make all aware that there are still Jews in captivity (and what should we do about it?) Ask every member of the family to read and/or explain at least one short text of the Hagada in Hebrew, Enlgish, Farsi, etc... . Encourage them to search in: www.torah.org, aish.com, ou.org, etc, for material related to the idea they read.
2. Make it fun: Ask the funniest guys of the family to play some parts of the Hagada. You must have a play for the Ten Plagues: Somebody (serious) explains briefly each plague and the actors play the play. You must have at least one person playing Moshe (his head covered with a Talit) and somebody starring as Par'o... Make it visual. Buy plastic frogs, animal masks for 'arob and ping pong balls for hail. Another group should play the four sons. Encourage the 4 sons to briefly debate among themselves about one past/present subject: for example, Although they were only a small minority, the Egyptians feared that the Jews were "too powerful for us." Although Jews make us less than 3% of the American population Atlantic Magazine's "50 Most Influential Commentators in America" included 26 Jews. Are Jews too powerful? Not powerful enough? Should we keep it all to ourselves?
3. Educate with fun: Have a game, a Pesach treasure hunt or Pesach trivia. YOU MUST SEE THIS!!! http://www.simchatyechiel.org/english/pesach.html Have 20 questions ready and most importantly 20 (or more) small prizes. So anytime it gets out of control, or boring or you want everybody's attention you can shoot one of your questions (show the prize first!). Guaranteed to work... or your money back!
Candle lighting NYC: 7:16
VERY IMPORTANT PESACH LINKS!!!!
NEW ALTERNATIVE MEKHIRAT CHAMETZ and CHAMETZ FOOD DRIVE
NEW UPDATED FORM FOR SELLING YOUR CHAMETZ, WITH FAX INFORMATION:
TIMETABLE FOR SUNDAY APRIL 17 and MONDAY APRIL 18
COMPLETE PRINTABLE PESACH GUIDE w/INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEDER, FAST OF FIRSTBORN, PESACH OUT OF TOWN, MASHADI CUSTOMS, etc.
LIST OF AUTHORIZED FOR PESACH NON-CHAMETZ PRODUCTS
BBM REMINDER OF SEFIRAT HAOMER (Thanks to Shlomo Nouriely!)
EMAIL REMINDER SERVICE FOR OMER (Thanks to Farshad Kalaty)
Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024