web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Passover Seder is Jewish Life, Charoset, Marror and All Four Sons

Haggadah for the Passover Seder.

Haggadah for the Passover Seder.
Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/flash 90

So much has been and will be written about the Passover Seder. It’s an amazing home-based (when it isn’t in a hotel or some public hall) required religious ritual in Judaism.

It’s a ceremony involving contrasts, opposites. We starve (during the sometimes seeming unending recitations and discussions) and we also feast, not only on the festive meal but a number of ritual foods.

Contrasts start with the “four questions” traditionally recited/sung by the youngest capable attendee at the seder:

1. On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza.2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables and herbs, but on this night we have to eat bitter herbs.3. On all other nights we don’t dip our vegetables in salt water, but on this night we dip them twice.4. On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining. (about.com)

I understand that this is to get the child involved, but the answers aren’t very clear and relevant to a child’s understanding. I’m a former remedial teacher, and I can’t see how “because we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” would make much sense as an answer to why we dip our vegetables in salt water.

Of course the children may and should insist on better answers if dissatisfied with the Seder’s text. The next big contrast are the supposed questions of four different types of children. The compilers of the Passover Hagadah recognize that we’re all different and so are our children. Also it’s important to welcome all Jews to the seder no matter what their level of observance. That is important and very different from many other Jewish rituals which quickly become rejected and forgotten by those who aren’t Torah observant. The Passover Seder is one ritual that many people make an effort to observe, even partially, no matter how far they are from Torah living.

Dry Bones

“The four sons,” or daughters if you wish, all ask the same basic question but each from his/her perspective.

Four Blessings, Four Children Blessed is the omnipresent one, blessed be He!Blessed is He who gave the Torah to His people Israel,blessed be He!The Torah speaks of four children: one wise, one wicked, one simple, and one who does not know how to ask. (Chabad)

What does the wise one say?“What are the testimonies, the statutes, and the laws that G‑d, our G‑d, has commanded to you?” (deut. 6:20)What does the wicked one say?“What is this service of yours?!”12 The Simple One—what does he say?“What is this celebration about?”As for The One Who Knows Not How To Ask—you must open up [the conversation] for him.

Judaism is an open religion in many ways.  We communicate directly with G-d, and we were given Free Will. G-d did not create us to be robots or angels, who can be described as G-d’s robots. Human beings were gifted with the abilities to make mistakes, yes, even bad ones, and to repent, do teshuva. Many families contain all versions of these four children.

The ritual meal at the seder opens with a food combination that symbolizes our families, the Jewish People, when we combine the sweet charoset* with the sharp, burning bitter herbs**. First they are eaten together, just the two contrasting foods. And then we (most Jews, at least those who do not have the minhag, custom forbidding matzah to touch any other food) make a sandwich of it between two pieces of matzah.

When we eat this combination we should remember that G-d loves us all, as a Father. That isn’t a green-light to disobey His Laws; it should remind us that G-d wants us to improve ourselves and live according to His Laws. Chag Kasher v’Sameach to All

*our charoset recipe chop up apples, walnuts, almonds mix together and add cinnamon and sweet red wine

**bitter herbs romaine lettuce and/or horseradish root, which we grate and add a bit of vinegar to keep it potent

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Passover Seder is Jewish Life, Charoset, Marror and All Four Sons”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Blogs Stories
"Shiloh"

Shiloh, where the Mishkan stood for near 400 years, was the spiritual capital of the Jewish Nation.

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

European Union

Is the EU “Jewish challenged”?

Car in Light Rail Runover

The headlines refused to scream “ARAB TERROR ATTACK;” instead the phrase “Suspected Terror Attack.”

I’ve heard many times I write what others think, making them extremely happy; that’s why I continue.

Though secular, Hitman’s CV includes writing music for, recording, and popularizing religious songs.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Has the Jewish world adapted to the times? Hear the answer with Doug and his guest, Rabbi Berel Wein.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Kids bring in the light and let out the darkness through breathing exercises; it changes people.

If I make a million dollars in 2 weeks, how can I observe something like this and sit by quietly?”

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

How long will it take for Israel and the Jewish World to admit that we are in very serious danger?

How do changes in technology affect the human life and our interactions with each other?

Palestinians (and Jordanians) often use the term “provocation” regarding Israeli action in Jerusalem

The zealots who engineered the ban have been publicly disgraced.

More Articles from Batya Medad
"Shiloh"

Shiloh, where the Mishkan stood for near 400 years, was the spiritual capital of the Jewish Nation.

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

The headlines refused to scream “ARAB TERROR ATTACK;” instead the phrase “Suspected Terror Attack.”

I’ve heard many times I write what others think, making them extremely happy; that’s why I continue.

How long will it take for Israel and the Jewish World to admit that we are in very serious danger?

I’m more worried about the dangers of the Palestine virus than the Ebola one.

Who is in the White House doesn’t matter; the US President is neither Israel’s leader nor our god.

Unlike many Likud (including Yisrael Beitenu, Israel is Our Home, which ran with it as a unified party in the last elections) voters and most who voted for Naftali Bennett’s NRP aka Bayit Yehudi, Jewish Home Party, I’m not at all surprised that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has done what he swore he would never […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/passover-seder-is-jewish-life-charoset-marror-and-all-four-sons/2014/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: