Thursday, April 07, 2011

What Makes Your Seder The Best?

We all have our tricks, traditions and customs. Some are better and some are worse. Have you changed or continued the ones you grew up with, if you grew up with them at all?

My family wasn't religious, but we did have a seder of sorts. We did it in English besides the few songs I had learned in Hebrew School which were from the pre-meal part of the evening. Once the food was served the Hagaddot disappeared, and I used to wonder why we learned those songs, since they weren't part of the seder. It wasn't until I had become religiously observant that I discovered that our family s'darrim had been abridged.

Our custom was to take turns reading the Hagaddah, yes, in English, of course. This was in New York. In recent years I've tried instituting that custom here in Israel. It prevents the droning of the Hagaddah my husband was raised with. His grandfather read droned it fluently every year. There was no discussion, just a break for the food. When everyone reads the Hagaddah in the language they understand, there's more of a chance that people will think about what is written.

When our kids were little, they were told by me to interrupt whenever they could with words of wisdom they had learned in school. They/we also did/ our best to burst into song whenever we'd hear/read words to which we know a tune. That keeps things lively and fun and is an antidote to the droning.

The seder is supposed to be interactive, not a solo performance.

We also have the custom of starting the meal with a whole boiled egg in salt water. We have a contest to see who can spear it with a spoon first.

Nu, how do you make the seder fun?


Shelly said...

Interesting. Although my family wasn't religious, we did a full seder both nights, and mostly in Hebrew.

Batya said...

I don't know how old you are, but I wonder if the younger generation has enough Jewish education to continue Hebrew s'darim. Few, almost none, of my cousins enjoy the same level of s'darim they grew up with.