Let’s begin with a question:
What is the most reoccurring number at the Seder?
I begin with a question about numbers because the Seder is a night of questions, and also of numbers. We ask four questions, tell about the four children and drink four cups of wine.
The four cups of wine at the Seder are the four stages of liberation:
1. becoming aware of oppression 2. opposing oppression 3. imagining alternatives 4. accepting personal and communal responsibility to act for freedom.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in his 1941 state of the union address spoke of the four freedoms we should protect anywhere in the world. They are:
1. freedom of speech and expression 2. freedom from fear 3. freedom from want 4. freedom of religion.
Passover(Pesach in Hebrew) is the holiday of freedom. Hag ha’chayrut! (Hag = holiday, Chayrut = freedom)
The Seder is a celebration of freedom. We sit around the table and tell stories of oppression and liberation “as if we are coming out of Egypt.” In Hebrew Mitzrayyim literally means narrow places.
Something New: May I suggest that instead of just blessing and drinking we use the occasion of drinking the four cups of wine to pause and bring to the table, literally in this case, a discussion about the four stages of libration and FDR’s four freedoms? What do the four freedoms mean to us today? How do we guard and express them? Which one is most important now, and why?
Lastly, sharing a funny video about Seder. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. Watch and enjoy!
In light of the video a reminder. We can eat vegetables (salad, potatoes) after we say the blessing of Karpas early in the Seder. It will be a more pleasant experience to all with some food.
I wish you a wonderful Passover and a delightful spring.