During this year’s celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover, I thought I’d offer viewers at seat at my families seder table. Seder is a traditional Jewish feast that most families share together on the first night of the eight day celebration.
"Passover is a celebration of the Jewish people's freedom from tyranny and their exodus from Egypt escaping the tyranny of the pharaohs in ancient days," David Fiedler explained.
To commemorate the Jews exodus from Egypt, we all gather together at the table, and read from the Haggadah. This book contains the story of the Israelite exodus along with special blessings and rituals.
One important tradition that my family is the eating of matzoh.
"As the story goes, when the Jews were leaving slavery, they were basically running away and didn't have time for their bread to rise, so they grabbed what was in the ovens and it wasn't leavened bread," Fiedler said.
Another common Passover tradition is to leave a seat at the table, and the front door open for the prophet Elijah, in hopes that he will join us at dinner some day. My family found some humor when opening the front door for him this year.
"Well Elijah didn't come, but I did get something!" joked Highland Park resident Denise Ginsberg. As the table exploded with laughter, Wilmette resident Kate Thomas chimed in, "The prophet comes via UPS!"
After we read from the Haggadah, it’s time for the festive meal of traditional Jewish foods like matzoh ball soup, charoses and bitter herbs like horseradish.
There’s a lot more to learn about the meaning of Passover and the traditions that take place at the seder table, but I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into what Passover is all about.