Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Passover 2011

Every year while preparing for our Passover seder, I say the same thing:  "Next year, we having it catered!"  I figure it must be like forget the pain and only remember the joy!  We had lots and lots of joy this year.  With 83 people, our joy was greatly multiplied.  The many children, including our 1 1/2 year old grandson, made it really fun this year, too.

"Rabbi Jem and I are so tired, we are taking TWO Shabbats this week," I told our Hadassah* group.  We did just that.  After the seder on Friday evening, we rested for two whole days afterward.
Peeling & chopping apples
Hall preparations

We did a potluck this year for the Passover meal, which turned out very well.  The ladies and I had spent several days before the event making kugel* and charoset*.  Rabbi Jem and men from the congregation had spent several days preparing the hall, getting the hagaddahs ready and other chores. 

Dance team praising Adonai

At the seder, we sang the traditional songs, Dayenu and Eliyahu, but this year, added a new song, "Hallelujah, Our Passover Lamb" which I love.  We'll definitely use it next year.  Our dance team did two dances.  The first, Hear Now, adjured us to pay heed to G-ds commandment to observe the feasts and festivals.  The second, Step by Step voiced our promise to follow Him and obey. 

Children ready to open the door
Each year, a place is set at the head table for the prophet Elijah, who is foretold to return prior to the second coming of Yeshua.  This year, at the appointed time during the service, Rabbi Jem told the children to go to the door, open it, and look for Elijah.  When little Hannah opened the door, she shouted, "He's here!"  All the children started jumping up and down, shouting, "He's here! He's here!"  I was standing at the door, too, and sadly reported that it wasn't Elijah, but one of the members of the congregation who'd stepped outside for a minute.  We all had a good laugh on that one!

As in years before, we remembered, we praised Adonai for His faithfulness to the Israelites and to us.  We recognized Yeshua in the matzah, the 4 cups of wine, and in many other ways in the readings.  The seder is both serious and humorous at times, just like our lives.

At the end of the evening, our bodies were tired but our hearts were filled with joy.  Our faith and our hearts were renewed, refreshed and energized. With joyful and hopeful hearts, we ended the seder with the traditional and enthusiastic, "Next Year In Jerusalem!"

*Hadassah is a women's service organization in the synagogue
* Kugel is noodle pudding - a dessert without leaven, traditional Jewish cuisine
*Charoset is chopped apples, nuts, honey & grape juice, part of the seder plate, and symbolizes the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks in Egypt.

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