South Shore temple plans Passover Seder
Temple Bat Yam will host a Passover Seder starting at 5 p.m. April 20 at Edgewood Tahoe Country Club. Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, the spiritual leader of the temple, will lead the Seder. Everyone is invited to attend, and paid reservations need to be received by April 7.
For more information and to receive a registration form, call Rabbi Freirich at (775) 588-4503, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.templebatyamtahoe.org. Send checks to Temple Bat Yam, P.O. Box 5099, Stateline, NV 89449.
The cost is $60 for adult members and $85 for adult nonmembers; $25 for children with members and $40 for children with nonmembers; $10 for toddlers with members and $20 for toddlers with nonmembers. List the 10 people you wish to sit with if you will be coordinating a table.
A Passover Seder is a ceremonial meal with the telling of stories, anecdotes and songs, and prayers of gratitude, commemorating the exodus from Egypt by the Jewish people, whom the pharaoh had held as slaves. Moses led them out of the land of Egypt, where they journeyed for 40 years, until the Jewish people finally were allowed to enter Israel. One of the themes of the holiday is to remember and be grateful for freedom and to see that other people also are relieved from bondage so all can be free.
The holiday also acknowledges the advent of spring. During Passover, which lasts eight days, the observant avoid eating bread or cake, and eat matzoh, an unleavened bread. The reason for this is that the Jewish people did not have time to wait until bread was leavened while fleeing from Egypt.
The Haggadah, which is a recital of the order, is used during the ceremony. On a Seder plate, there is a roasted bone, in remembrance of the sacrificial lamb offered by the Israelites, where the blood was put on their outside doors so the angel of death would “pass over” their households and not take their firstborn. It was eaten on the eve of their departure from Egypt. There also is a roasted egg; maror or bitter herbs, usually horseradish, is used as a reminder of the bitterness of the bondage in Egypt; and Karpas, usually celery, parsley or lettuce, is used, suggesting the first green of spring. A container of salt water is placed on each table, into which the greens are dipped, described as the tears shed for suffering and persecution. Haroset is another item on the seder plate. It is a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine or grape juice, suggesting the bricks that the Israelites were forced to make for the pharaoh in Egypt.
All those at the Seder are invited to participate in some of the reading. After the meal is eaten, children are invited to find a hidden piece of matzoh. When it is given to the rabbi, the child who finds it receives a prize.
The event has moments of solemnity and joy. One of the joyous events is the dancing of the women at the Seder to Miriam’s Song. All are invited to join in as the line of women with tambourines dance between the tables and they and others sing.