Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PESAH, the night of the Seder (part 1)

Throughout its symbolisms and traditions, the Seder of Pesah makes us feel the bitter experience of slavery and the sweetness of freedom. It invites us to visualize ourselves as if we were slaves, who are actually leaving right now and for good our miserable life in Egypt.  

We have two types of symbols in the Seder.  

1. The maror (bitter leaves); the haroset and the vinegar (or salted water) all reminders of the cruel slavery.

2. The four cups of wine; the reenacting of our departure from Egypt; the fact that we sit reclined, as was done exclusively by the Kings and Lords in antiquity, all symbols of freedom and liberty.

On this night, we rebuild in our tables the scenery of the events that took place at the time of our Exodus. Refreshing our collective memory and transmitting to our children who we were and who we are, where we coming from and how did all begin.  Keeping a strategic idea during the whole Seder: we are celebrating our freedom, without forgetting our ancestors suffering.

During the coming days, BH, we will review the steps of the Pesah Seder and we will hopefully learn its performance and meaning. 

Monday, April 14th at night, we will have the first Seder of Pesah. The Seder begins with the Holiday consecration and its official inauguration: the qiddush.  Upon concluding the qiddush and the blessing sheheheyanu everyone drinks the first cup of wine, while leaning on the left side. Each cup should contain at least 3 ounces.  Throughout the Seder we drink four cups of wine. Symbolizing a joyous celebration of the four expressions of freedom found in the Tora. If one cannot drink pure wine, the wine could be diluted or substituted by grape juice. 

To be continued....


list of foods for Ashkenazi Jews from cRc, Chicago, rabbi Gedaliah Shwartz. 
Click here

Recommended list of foods for Sephardic Jews. By Rabbi Yehudah Boroosan.  Click here

Rabbi Yehudah Boroosan:  "....my objective in preparing this list is to make known the products that are L'chetachila qualified for Sefaradim on Pesach. There are so many people who are unable to obtain Kasher L"Pesach approved products and/or could not afford or are unwilling to purchase specifically marked items due to its higher price. I am fully aware of the kashruth issues and have therefore carefully included in this guide also those products that their kashruth status is more subject to policy that actuality and take full responsibility to make sure that every one is able to have a chag Kasher V'Sameyach."