ISO – A Request From Jewish Action Magazine
Bayla Sheva Brenner, Senior Writer at the OU’s Jewish Action Magazine (full disclosure: I’m on the editorial board) asked us to publicize this request. Here is your chance to get carried around to supermarkets by thousands of people doing their Pesach shopping! The easy route to fame!
I am researching for an article (to be featured in the upcoming issue of the OU’s Passover Guide) about people’s approaches to making their Pesach seder stimulating and meaningful for everyone at the table. Pesach is a pivotal and challenging time for every Yid; we all come to the table with hopes and challenges. “The time of our freedom” is an opportunity to take ourselves out of our communal and personal Mitrayim (again) in order to serve G-d more fully – more of the person we are meant to become. With Hashem’s “Strong Arm” we will experience another Pesach, as well as another step towards true freedom – as a person and as a People. If you have children, please include your approach to teaching them this all-important lesson. If you would like to share your perspective, please contact me at [email protected] You can remain anonymous if you choose to
Give as much time to your children and grandchildren to show what they have learned and know. Their enthusiasm for what they learned and the tunes they want to sing for Hallel, etc, should be paramount-not the profound Talmudic analyis or sermon that either you or someone else at the table has been reserving all year for night of the seder.
I think that your approach should be, to not expect to teach them all there is to know about Pesach, for the higher one’s expectations, the more likely one is to come away from the experience feeling disappointed, plus it would be information overload for the recipients of that information, paradoxically causing less such teachings to be absorbed. In other words, keep it simple, and have only modest expectations. Have it in mind to teach, say, no more than a dozen bits of information at any given Seder. And make the experience as enjoyable as possible, full of heartwarming singing, delicious and plentiful food, and most of all, endless displays of loving kindness. Make them feel special for being members of G-d’s Chosen People.
Remember that your spouse is also one of the people at the table. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about what you expect from the seder.
I’ve left the table to sleep (or fallen asleep at the table) through too many “maggids” over the years because of my husband’s pontificating in the face of my utter exhaustion. We would argue about this every year, but he simply did not care; seder was going to be his way, even after he barely lifted a finger during all the Pesach preparations.
Not good for shalom bayis. Not good for the children/grandchildren. Abroad, at least, there are two sedarim; but even in Israel there are other meals during Pesach for all the eager beavers to show off everything they know.
Always teach by example the joy of being an Eved Hashem, especially on “This Night”!