New Here?
Search Kawartha Lakes Mums

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Kawartha Lakes Seders Plus Free Passover Craft Ideas.- Kawartha Lakes Shiksa Discovering Pesach!

Kawartha Lakes Mums - Are You Having a Seder Meal?

Thursday April 17,2014 Cambridge Street United Church Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes will hold a potluck Seder at 5:30pm. Omemee Christian Outreach will hold a Seder Monday, April 21 at 6pm. All are welcome to both events. Are you curious about Seders? Me too.  These invitations sparked curiosity in me. What do you take to a Seder Potluck?
How is Passover celebrated? What do you do at a Seder? These were questions in my mind. Are you wondering too? I discovered free downloads, delicious recipes, rich cultural information, and even a giveaway for a $100 AMEX card. Most of all I discovered I had a tonne of questions. Here are some ideas from around the internet that you may find interesting too.. Note: Statement to conform with FTC - There are a mixture of links: Regular links to bloggers, adf.ly links show a word from a sponsor before websites, and a few affiliate links where I will get paid if you make a purchase. Thank you.

What is Passover?

Does your family celebrate Passover or hold a Seder? This year, Passover or Pesach began the evening of Monday April 14 and will continue until Tuesday April 22. Growing up Christian, I read Passover is the celebration of when the Angel of Death passed over the homes of Jews, sparing their first born son and their subsequent escape from slavery under the Pharaoh in Egypt. Did you know a mixed group escaped with Moses? What is your understanding of Passover? As I explored, I found I had many more questions. My understanding is far from complete, and may have many errors. Please share your suggestions for further study and any corrections in the comments below.

Why Celebrate Pesach?

Passover reminds us: freedom is not to be taken lightly, to care for the oppressed, to ask what is limiting me, and ask God for help in removing those restrictions.
The story behind Pesach is found in Exodus in the Old Testament. and the Torah.  Celebrated by Jews around the world, and an increasing number of Christians, the main celebration is the Passover Seder.
Hannah Kattsman has written extensively about Jewish Passover  at A Mother in Israel-her blog.

Passover Activity and Food Restrictions 

Matza on Blue background Free iTunes Passover App on iTunes can help ready a home for Passover linked to iTunes Store page
Free Passover Assistant App on iTunes
Passover, or Pesach - an eight day spring celebration has two parts  Four days are especially Holy for Orthodox Jews. The first two days mark G-d passing over the homes of Jews, and the beginning of the flight of the Israelites, and the last two celebrate the parting of the Red Sea. During Passover, not only do the kosher food laws apply for Jews, but also restrictions regarding leavening agents and grains. The first two and last two days, like Shabbat, are very restricted in activities allowed for Orthodox Jews. They are not to work, turn electrical items on or off, drive or write.  However these days are different from Shabbat as they are celebrations - Yom Tov. People are to dress in fine clothes, light candles, and eat and drink the best foods they can afford. There is a wealth of information at http://adf.ly/4009826/chabad-passover

Pre-Passover - Intensive Spring Cleaning

There is a lot of preparation to be done ahead of Pesach. So much, that there is even a free Passover APP on the iTunes Store [This is a free App, but if you make another purchase I will receive payment.Thanks.] Some important parts of the pre-Passover celebration include:
  • Clearing your home of Chametz or Hametz- A VERY thorough spring cleaning to make the home kosher for Passover when leavening including certain alcohols cannot be found in the home. This is in recognition of the hasty flight from Egypt, when they did not have time for the bread to rise. People having a large amount of Chametz will sell their Chametz to a non-Jew, then buy it back after Pesach. 
  • Candle lit hunt for Chametz with a feather and wooden spoon.
  • Chametz Bonfire - where all Chametz larger than a marble is burned.
  • Fast of the First Born - In recognition of the sparing of the first born of the Israelites, and the deaths of Egyptian First born.
  • Preparing all the foods for the first two Seders.

Seder Meal - Involving Children

Lets Get Ready for Passover Free iTunes App offers virtual Pesach Preparations for young children -hunting for Chametz, Baking screen shot image linked to iTunes Store.
Age 4-5 May Enjoy This Free iTunes Passover App
Several sources refer to the challenge of keeping children's attention during the Seder due to its length. Rosenblum School says Seder is supposed to be fun to everyone.
Preparing children in advance with naps and involving them in age-appropriate ways can make this an enjoyable event for the whole family. Don't give too much away in the preparation. A key part of the Seder is to inspire the children of all ages to ask questions, and make them curious about why these things are being done. Most importantly, Seder begins with the youngest child asking the four traditional questions at the beginning of the Seder. Here are some useful links for enjoying Seder with children:

Seder- What Happens During A Seder?

Seder means order. Seder is a multi-media, intergenerational retelling of the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  There are 15 Steps to freedom enacted in a Seder. Jews celebrate the first Seder as soon as the family arrives home from services on the first evening of Pesach.  Seder begins solemnly as the slavery, and infanticide of the Israelites are marked, then the mood lightens as the Seder progresses and the story of the liberation of the Israelites is told as found in Exodus. It has deep spiritual meaning, and many symbolic actions showing the contrast between being enslaved and being free, for example lounging to the left in imitation of a wealthy person. The 15 steps to freedom are:
  1. Sanctify - 
  2. Cleanse - Water flowing downward signifying wisdom. 3 times over the right hand and 3 times over the left.
  3. Appetizer -  To make us yearn for more. Dipping of karpas in Salt water.
  4. Break - Break the middle matzah and hide part to be found later to end the meal.
  5. Tell - Tell the story in first person, using the Haggadah, from the prophecy given Abraham to the  release from Egypt. It is told in 1st person to signify how we each must ask God  for help in leaving our personal Egypt. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their personal Egypt and changes they want to make in their lives, as well as the oppressions of people today.
  6. Wash - As commanded by God before breaking bread.
  7. Bread - 
  8. Matzah -
  9. Bitter - 
  10. Wrap - Commemorating the way Hillel ate the Pesach lamb.
  11. Set the Table - This part of the Seder is when the sumptuous dinner is eaten. Beginning with the egg dipped in salt water.
  12. Hidden - Find the hidden matza and eat it to represent the Pesach lamb that can no longer be eaten since the destruction of the temple. Remember to seek the hidden oppressed, 
  13. Bless -
  14. Praise - 
  15. Accepted.-

The Seder Table

Follow Kawartha Lakes Mums's board April Ideas on Pinterest.

Chicago Rabbinical Council has a video showing 'How To Prepare a Seder Plate' with tips on preparing the foods as well. http://adf.ly/4009826/crc-preparing-seder-plate  Here are important items to have on the table that are referred to in a Seder. However, these may differ depending on the type of Seder, and traditions.
  • Candles
  • Pitcher of Water, bowl and towel for hand washing
  • Red Wine or grape juice enough for 4 glasses per person, plus a glass for Elijah
  • A broken and chipped bowl. To pour wine into from the glass during the telling of the plagues.
  • Bowl of Boiled Eggs. 
  • Elijah's Cup - to fill with wine - This is not consumed at the meal.
  • Haggadah booklet -The story of the Exodus with prayers, songs and reflections sometimes traditionally handed down. See more about this below.
  • A Seder plate containing the traditional foods, and under it in a covered dish 3 matzos non-egg - separated by serviettes. The middle matza gets broken and half is hidden for the children to find after the Seder Feast -symbolic of a slave having to hide its food.

Traditional Foods arranged on the Seder Plate

  • Z'roa: Means Arm A roasted bone, or chicken wing with most of the meat removed. Not Eaten. This is to symbolize the lamb sacrifice that could be brought to the temple before it was destroyed. This may also symbolize God's outstretched arm or a sacrifice depending on the source.
  • Beitzah: A roasted hard-boiled egg, representing the festival offering and a symbol of mourning. Z'roa means Arm and Beya in Aramaic means to ask for favour - together the play on words suggests 'May it please the Merciful God to redeem us with an uplifted arm.' 
  • Karpas: A vegetable other than bitter herbs, celery, potatoes, or parsley is dipped in salt water, representing tears. The salt should not have iodine.
  • Chazeres: The bitter herb eaten first, either romaine lettuce or Belgain Endive.
  • Maror: Usually Romaine lettuce heart or fresh grated horseradish, to bring tears to the eyes, and symbolizing the bitter harshness of slavery, are eaten twice, once by themselves and a second time, with matzah.
  • Charoses: A mixture of grated apples, pears, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, ginger and pears. Other fruits may also be used. The fruit symbolizes the Israelites. This symbolizes the mortar Hebrew slaves had to make. The ginger string symbolizes the straw in the mortar. A red liquid such as red wine is added to it to symbolize the first of the ten plagues- Blood. An acrid substance like lemon is added  if red wine is not used to remind people that the labour set the slaves teeth on edge.
An excellent guide to conducting a Seder and the meanings of all the foods can be found at http://adf.ly/4009826/seder-wizard
    Other optional items: 
    Sometimes Reformed Jews hold an inclusive Seder with a cup of water to represent Miriam.  In recent years some Seder Plates have used an orange to signify inclusion. You may wish to have a Haggadah for each person, for more active involvement.
    School recommends having lots of fun props and decorations for acting out the story of Exodus. They stress it is important for everyone to feel welcome at the Seder and have a good time. Some fun ideas  you might use for enacting the story could be puppets, eye shades, people to role play the Pharaoh and Moses. Can you name all 10 plagues in order? Some sites offer printable Seder colouring placemats

    The Haggadah

    The telling of God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt is meant to be an enactment that will spark conversation, discussion, and questions. It is meant to inspire us to seek G-d's assistance in breaking out of our own Egypt, and away from what enslaves us. Haggadah address modern day oppressions, and challenge us to reach out to others who are oppressed or enslaved. It encourages us to open our eyes to miracles, and draws attention to the 15 blessings God granted the Israelites. Here are some examples of Haggadot [Plural of Haggadah]
    There are over 2,000 search results for Haggadah on amazon. How do you choose a book to recommend?New American Haggadah was a runaway best selling Haggadah when first published.

    Seder Feast

    My perception of a Seder was just the traditional foods on the Seder Plate - very austere fare. Was that your perception too? I didn't realize there was a huge feast in the middle! Seder Feasts have many delicious traditional and new recipe variations too. From what I understand if your dish avoids ham, lamb, grains, and leavening or things that might have come in contact with leavening agents,you're pretty safe.
    Do you think my Recipe for Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Banana Flan would be acceptable?

    • The Kosher Cook Book 1.99 on iTunes is searchable with 300 recipes and offers a menu planner too.
    • Tori Avey has several delicious Pinterest Boards full of Seder Dinner Suggestions according to the dietary requirements of the various denominations of Jews and even a board for vegetarians. We have added several of our favourites from Tori and a few other sources to our Pinterest April Ideas Board.
    Follow Kawartha Lakes Mums's board April Ideas on Pinterest.

    More Useful Links:

    Subscribe to Kawartha Lakes Mums to stay in the loop! Visit us on Kawartha Lakes Mums Facebook Page, Kawartha Mums Twitter, and Check out Kawartha Lakes Mums Youtube for Insider Secrets Note: This unsponsored post contains an ad.fly link to help cover expenses. Find out more at : http://adf.ly/?id=4009826

    1 comment:

    1. I wish I had been able to attend both Kawartha Lakes Seders, but I was only able to be at the one in Omemee.
      It was a beautiful presentation and explanation of a Messianic Seder lead by Ruth Ann.
      If you have the opportunity to attend a Seder, do so it will open your eyes to a fascinating part of our history!


    Thanks for reading!
    We look forward to your comments, and will publish them after checking for family-friendliness.
    If posting a link, please link back to us, or have a place where we can comment and link back to our blog.