I know dozens (and dozens) of women who have a love-hate relationship with the Seder. And I’m not talking about the cleaning and preparation entailed. I’m referring to the deeper challenges the Seder brings up for so many of us.
Granted, the physical preparations for Pesach are a big deal. Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev actually links the various aspects of the cleaning we do for Pesach to the shofar blasts of Rosh Hashanah, explaining that the physical effort we expend at this time of year stands in our stead at the time of spiritual judgement. That said, I challenge the heights we’ve taken “cleaning” to. In my opinion, it’s waaaay over the top. I don’t buy that all the frenzy is coming from a healthy place. With age I slipped free of the “cult of cleaning.” Yes, I now differentiate between Spring Cleaning and Passover Cleaning and whereas I used to tell others these words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s, I now actually live by them: “Dust is not chometz and children are not the Pesach offering.”
Okay, one down. We can get beyond the physical exertion stuff. But two, or three, or four to go. The real deep challenge for most of us is not in the preparation but in the Seder itself.
How many folks do you know who have reservations about the meal? (Yes, you can include yourself in that list.) We don’t know how to accommodate the relatives who “just want to get to the food” – or we’re one of those relatives ourselves! We think our partner doesn’t have a grip on social graces; is not “spiritually in tune,” is too cerebral; lacks warmth; too gushy; doesn’t engage with us at the table. There’s no lack of things to obsess over regarding others. Next we dig in to ourselves. After all our work, don’t we deserve more? Don’t we deserve to have the Seder run the way we think it should be? And then the double-whammy! Why are we SO demanding; critical; uptight? You get what I mean.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. And I’d like to share some ideas I have with you about “How to Seder.”
This coming Monday night begins the New Moon of the month of Nissan. It’s the month of our Freedom not only from an exile of long ago but from the ways of being that keep us trapped today.
I thought it would be an opportune time for us to get together, celebrate the New Moon and tap into the wave of freedom.
Here’s what I have in mind for the How to Seder event:
- Touch on what it takes to become emotionally free.
- Look at how to balance setting an intention and letting go of the outcome.
- Glance at the basic structure of the Haggadah (I’m not referring to content. Rather this will be a look at the flow of the text. I find it is useful for people to make sense of the sometimes seemingly disconnected readings.)
- And I’ll share some meditations you can focus on to go deep within and make the Seder more meaningful for you regardless of where anyone else is holding.
- And then I’ll take questions from the group. If you like, you can email them to me by using the webform on my site.
Happy New Moon!