Your Shabbat Guest
Growing up in a traditional Jewish home, the weeks and months leading up to Passover were always exciting. Beginning a few weeks before Purim, I would always hear “don’t make crumbs in the living room, Pesach is coming soon!” Even though we lived in New York City, the Kosher food capital of the world (outside of Israel), “light” shopping for Pesach always began weeks before – so that we could have the best choices of foodstuffs.
In the days leading up to Pesach 2015, I was curious as to what a Seder On The Road would look like. Our congregation in Bakersfield had been gearing up for the celebration for weeks. Shopping in the various “Kosher” stores in Los Angeles had already taken place. New varieties of Kosher wine had been purchased, and a new complement of Haggadot had been acquired. A team of dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to get all of the foods just right. Our newly – renovated synagogue kitchen was to make its debut.
Finally, the evening of the Seder had arrived …
A community Seder for 65 is quite an undertaking. Aside from food “prep” and table arrangements, there is the CONTENT of the Seder to prepare for. Who will be there? Who is a good volunteer reader? Which of the familiar musical “hits” are familiar to this community?
Having discussed the content of the Seder with a few of the community layleaders, it became clear that there would be a number of Shul “regulars” on hand – as well as a good number of people who had not been to Shul much since the High Holidays – a few who only come for the community Seder – and, for good measure, a sprinkling of brand new people.
While this diversity is a challenge in planning a community Seder, it is also one of the beautiful aspects of the event. “All who are hungry, come and eat” is one of the central anthems of Pesach. The Four Sons represent at least four “stripes” of people at each Seder.
Our community Seder was magnificent! The singing, the food, the enthusiasm of our volunteers, the telling of the Passover story, the Matzah, the wine, and the warmth of the community – all of these factors helped to make this Seder On The Road most memorable.
Notes from the Road - Seder on the Road