Saturday, April 23, 2011

Passover Seder Meal

Passover is the oldest and most important of Jewish religious festivals, commemorating God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and his creation of the Israelite people. The Passover meal is known as the Seder, which means "order," because the meal and service are done in a prescribed sequence. This sequence is presented in the Haggadah (or "telling") which outlines the steps of the meal as well as the readings and songs for the participants.
The term Passover refers to the tenth and final plague God brought upon the Egyptians to persuade Pharaoh to let the people go, the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. In obedience to God’s instructions, those who believed placed the blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes, so that God would "pass over" those homes. The festival actually celebrates the entire sequence of events that led to the Israelite's’ freedom from slavery. While thoroughly based in those historical events, the celebration encompasses much more as it becomes a vehicle to celebrate the very nature of God and His gracious work in the world. It is in this larger dimension that Jesus adopted the Passover service as a sacramental remembrance of God’s new work of deliverance in the Christ, and allows Christians to celebrate this ancient festival.  This year our family celebrated Passover the night before Easter.  We had a Seder meal with 5 other families hosted by Bobbie May and her kids.  Please click on the links above to see the script we followed and the instructional video by David Brickner.

The Lamb prepared by Michelle

Apple-Walnut Charoset prepared by Krissie

Almond Olive-Oil Tuiles by Krissie
The "Leaven Hunters" performing the Removal of chametz (leaven, pronounced ka-m├ęts)

Our Family was responsible for the Story of Passover (Part VII in the Haggadah) and Micah's part was to read the 4 Questions.  Noah played a few hymns on the piano and Sarah read the explanation but I only got pictures of Micah.

The plate with the Karpas (or greens) which represent life that we dip in the salt water.  The 10 drops of wine represent Blood, Frogs, Lice, Swarms, Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of the First Born. The Eleventh drop is because as innocent people suffered and died long ago because of the oppression of tyrants, so people today still suffer from evil in the world.  Our newspapers are filled with accounts of ethnic cleansing and bombings.  We cannot celebrate God’s deliverance for ourselves without longing that all God’s children experience freedom from their bondage.  So, we will spill another drop from our cups to recall the cost of evil in our world today.
Bitter Herbs (or Horesradish root) is eaten to remind us of the bitterness of the Salvary.  The kids all tried some and I manage to get a few good shots of "bitter herb faces".  This one is Sarah and Hannah. Below Abby, Alexandra and Micah.

Before we conclude the last part of the ceremony we share a meal.  Bobbie had assinged each of the families a part of the meal and we all feasted on traditional "Kosher" (no leaven) dishes.  In this picture of Sarah enjoying her salad, sweet potatoes, and chicken soup with matzah balls you can see the Haroseth, bitter herbs, Matzah bread, and wine on the table.
There were A LOT of people at the meal!  Too many to fit into one photograph, so I have one of the kids taken before we started and one of the adults taken after the conclusion.  Unfortunately Bob is still deployed and Eric had to work, so there are two missing from the adult picture.  We are so grateful for Bobbie who put this all together and hosted this in her home!
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