This Thursday we will gather for our 2nd night community Seder—as we have for so very long as a community. Last year we had our Seder in our new location and it was wonderful. This year: together but apart.
First night Seder is traditionally reserved for home, 2nd night for community. In Israel there is only one seder. Those of us in the diaspora take on doing two seders. This is our duty as Jews living outside the land of Israel. We must work a little harder to create community and to pass on our traditions as people living in “exile.” Exile?
Exile has been the state of being for Jews for most of our history. Diaspora has been our primary reality and the force influencing our traditions and practices for thousands of years. Reaching and yearning for the promised land, marching together towards a better place and supporting each other through the middle passage is what we do as a people. We nurture hope, by means of practicing Judaism, both at home and in community. The extra Seder of the diaspora is a blessing because it does not make us choose between a home celebration and a community celebration. We are twice blessed. We build our power by lighting our hope light in our homes and in the synagogue. We connect to that Eternal light within our private and public spaces. This year we merge both spaces into a space without walls or limits: the virtual world, the internet.
This year our congregational Seder will happen via Zoom. (Thank God for Zoom) We can host up to 100 households. We will have songs and readings and show and tell and laughter and joy. It will be a night of celebration and most importantly: a night of questions.
Moving forward into the unknown with song on our lips and joy in our hearts is the Jewish way. Questions are to be embraced and exploring the unknown an exercise in faith. We do not need answers in order to feel secure in our footsteps. We do not need a map to feel secure in moving towards the promised land. We just need a space to ask questions and to grapple with everything reality throws our way TOGETHER. This is what engenders our hope. Tikvah.
We enter this Passover with many questions in our hearts. When will this plague be over? When will life get back to normal? Will life ever get back to normal? Will my family be ok? Will I be able to educate my children? Will I be able to afford my rent next month? What will our country look like in November? What will our world look?
I can assure you: your questions about the future will NOT be answered by means of this Seder. But your state of being, not knowing what is ahead, feeling apprehensive and yet hopeful? That will be embraced! Through our community Seder we will build hope, strength and resilience in facing, TOGETHER, the unknowns. We have been marching towards the promised land together, hand in hand, since time immemorial. We never had the answers. But we have always embraced the questions. And this is root of our ability to “keep on keeping on”.
Our Hagaddah this year is the Hagaddah we use in my own home. We received 20 copies for our wedding and we have been exploring this gorgeous Hagaddah for over 20 years. Here is a link to the PDF
And here is the Zoom link to our Seder
Community Seder Without Walls: 2nd Night Together
Thursday, 4/09 | 5pm
Hosted via Zoom -
Meeting ID: 421 443 5173
Connect to one another with our Community Seder Without Walls: 2nd Night Together event.
PDF of the Hagaddah “A Night of Questions”
being used is located here.
May your first night under the full moon of Nissan we a time of connection and love. And I look forward to celebrating with you virtually on the second night.
May God bless you and keep you. Love,