The entire Passover Hagaddah, the entire holy week of Passover, has one main goal- to pass to the next generation the story, this experience, of liberation. This is truly a holiday for bringing the generations together. From the youngest to the oldest in our community: Passover is a L'dor V'dor (generation to generation) celebration.
If you look at the Hagaddah, from the basic structure to some of the most notable elements (4 cups, 4 children, 4 questions) you will see that the Hagaddah was designed by the rabbis as an educational tool to pass this story of liberation ON forward to those young ones coming up in this world. If they, the youth, are not engaged in the holiday then really what is the point?
At Kol Ami 2nd our Community Seder is designed to engage the entire community, while allowing for the experience of the children to be central to our celebration. We design this Seder to be: affordable, accessible, enjoyable and multigenerational. And we designed it also to keep our eye on that which is so precious within our community: children. The joy of the children is our joy, their questions our questions, their struggle to find meaning in ancient ritual is also our struggle.
Growing up I was not that into children. I did not love baby sitting. I had too much child care responsibility at home as the eldest to ever romanticize caretaking. Becoming a rabbi changed that for me. Every day I consider what I need to be doing TODAY to ensure that the youngest in our community will inherit a vibrant and life giving tradition. I consider what I need to be building now to ensure the sustainability of our Jewish civilization and our planet. As Jews this is not just the responsibility of the rabbi but the entire community. Children are the crown of Torah. May our fire always glow to light their little fires!
In Judaism we live not for the past, nor for our own virtuosity, but for the future. We are always pulling ourselves towards the future. A better world. A world filled with beauty, joy and blessing for our children, grandchildren and beyond. We can see it. Feel it. Practically taste it! The world as we know it can be is right ahead of us. Maybe not for us, not within our lifetimes, but for them. For the baby born at this moment as I write these words. For the young teen who is searching for meaning, who needs the light and hope of Judaism to just keep going. For them. This is what gives us purpose. This is why we have survived for so long. For them.
Today I consider the pandemic, environmental degradation, war, hatred and violence and I know that right focus is on the wellbeing of youth. Each of us has a role at Kol Ami in building the kind of community that will nurture the next generations. It is not just rabbi work, it is community work. Their wellness is all of our responsibility.
Therefore, please join me in encircling our youth through telling the story and passing on the rituals that have kept us going, sustained and spiritually alive for so very long. You presence at our community Seder, and at any/all multigenerational events at Kol Ami, is precious and essential. Just by showing up, being in the room, singing Dayenu with gusto, making a dessert to share, lending your voice to that of the community YOU are building a strong future for the Jewish people.
We only have 40 seats left! Register here!https://www.kolaminw.org/events-1/community-seder-1
We also have an amazing early childhood Passover InterActive experience planned for THIS Saturday at 9:15am. RSVP here! https://www.kolaminw.org/events-1/kol-ami-kirkland-presents-a-family-passover-interactive
And if you need a place for first Seder-let me know. We will find you a host. Email me: Rabbikinberg@gmail.com
May God bless and keep each of you at this season of movement and liberation. And may the hearts of the elders always be turned towards the hearts of the youth, and vice versa. It is our love and connection to each other which gives us life. That is where we encounter Divine.