Bringing the Hostages to Your Seder: Seder Supplement

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How might we integrate hope for the return of our hostages into our Seders this year? How might we meaningfully engage an intergenerational group with the hostage issue at the Seder table?

From the #BringThemHomeNow Educational Toolkit

Pesah celebrates the quintessential moment of Jewish redemption, the Exodus from Egypt, which has informed Jewish responses to moments of collective suffering throughout Jewish history. As such, there is no more appropriate moment to acknowledge and respond to the suffering of our brethren in captivity in Gaza than during our retelling of the Exodus narrative. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim—redeeming captives—is a Jewish obligation… in the same category as the Jewish obligations that we fulfill each year at our Seders: eating matzah and maror, recounting the Exodus from Egypt, and singing God’s praises. This resource offers a practical, adaptable activity to help Seder participants of all ages to make connections between the obligations of Pesah and our collective obligation to redeem our captives. In this activity, not only the afikoman, but several ritual items needed to fulfill our obligations at the Seder, are in turn hidden, discovered, and redeemed. The jarring image of the empty Seder plate at the center of our holiday table serves to highlight the plight of the captives who are jarringly absent from their families’ Seder tables this year. The return of each set of ritual items is accompanied by intentions and prompts for thoughtful reflection that connect Pesah’s story and rituals to the plight of the hostages, and the gradual replenishing of the Seder plate embodies our deep longing for their redemption.

Details

Setting

  • After School and Beyond
  • Educator Training
  • Early Childhood
  • Family Engagement

Target Audience

  • Early Childhood