The Passover Seder Table is not simply a place to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat dinner. The Table is symbolic in and of itself. It is a place where memories are made and traditions are taught. It is where we gather with family and friends, and newcomers too, to celebrate our freedoms.
The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God for taking us from slavery to freedom, from sadness to happiness, from pain to joy, from darkness to light. Fresh flower arrangements that mirror this year’s bright ORCHID & LIME color scheme make the table especially spring-like and festive as we celebrate the bounty, joy, and beauty of the season.
Newcomers to the Seder ask, “What can I bring?” We say BRING A FROG…and we have built up quite a collection over the past thirteen years!
Why a Frog?
God told Moses, “Behold, I hear the cry of the children of Israel. I have surely remembered you and seen what is done to you. And now I will put forth my hand and smite Egypt with signs and with wonders. Go tell Pharaoh, Let My people go!”
But Pharaoh still refuses. Now God sends frogs swarming all over Egypt. Frogs hop into the Egyptians’ houses, into their bedrooms and into their beds. Frogs hop into the kitchens where bread is made, and even into the ovens.
Pharaoh promises to set us free but as soon as God makes all the frogs hop away, Pharaoh breaks his promise.
So God sends seven more plagues: gnats, flies, cattle disease, boils, hail, locusts, darkness.
“Let My people go!” When Pharaoh still refuses, God sends the tenth and final plague – the slaying of the firstborn. But first God tells us to use the blood of a lamb to mark our doors. The Angel of Death will see the mark on our doors and PASS OVER our houses when it is time to inflict the plague.
Cousins: Ava (12 months) and Ethan & Preston (18 months)
We tell the story of our Exodus from Egypt to you, our children, and they will tell it to their children, and it will be told again and again. Shalom, Peace. We pray for peace, for us, for everyone. Next year in Jerusalem, next year may everyone be free.
Saying “Next year in Jerusalem” is another way of saying we hope by next year to live in a world that offers safety and peace, freedom and plenty, to all people, all over the world.
(Portions of this post were written with the help of The Family Haggadah by Ellen Schecter).