Yom Shabbat, 20 Iyyar 5779

Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5778
Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5777

 Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5776

Shabbat HaKavod Service 2014

Dear chevrei (friends),

The year I lived in Jerusalem I attended a seder led by my Israeli great-uncle. After dinner, when we returned to the haggadah, we turned to the page for Elijah’s cup and Uncle Menachem said, “Let’s skip this. We did it last year.” I will admit, I was a bit shocked. After all, the word seder comes from the root meaning “order,” and we are meant to complete the seder in the same order every year.

While my uncle might be at one extreme in his willingness to skip steps of the seder all together, some of us tend to get stuck at the other extreme: completing each step of the seder in exactly the same way every year; feeling that Passover cannot happen without a very specific set of people, recipes and melodies. I believe that somewhere between these two extremes can be found this year’s ideal Passover seders.

What the ideal seder will look like is up to you, and will necessarily vary from house to house, table to table. Think about the four children in the Haggadah. The very purpose of this text describing children as, “the wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who does not know how to ask,” is to demonstrate that an ideal telling of the Passover story requires knowing who the listener is. Although the Haggadah uses rather harsh language to describe the four children, we can substitute these descriptions with a whole host of other characteristics to describe the guests sitting at our seder tables: they vary by age, interest level, upbringing, life experience, etc. Each part of their identity influences how they hear, understand and experience a Passover seder.

The rabbis teach us, “In every generation one is obligated to see oneself as one who personally went out from Egypt.” To fulfill this challenging mandate, the seder needs to help us engage with the story and rituals of this holiday. With this in mind, we are reflecting on the Second Night Seder we hold here at Temple Israel. What can we add to our seder experience that will allow both adults and children to connect with the story? How can we help individuals relate the experience in Egypt to their lives today?

As we work to plan the seders and other Passover activities taking place here, we encourage you to examine the seders you hold at your own homes. Seders are supposed to include the same 15 steps of the seder each year, but what those steps look like is up to you. Perhaps consider how you might deepen the meaning of the seder for the adults at your table, explain the steps of the seder to new guests or spark the creativity of your younger guests.

We cannot wait to hear about your seder experiences.

Chag Sameach,

Rabbi Nichols
Rabbi and Director of
Congregational Learning

____________________

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High Holidays 5778
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For the Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For the Yom Kippur sermons given, click for Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols.


High Holiday Logo

 

High Holidays 5777
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For Yom Kippur sermons given by Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
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HHD 5775

 

High Holidays 5776
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For Yom Kippur sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner, please click.
For Rosh Hashanah greetings given by Lloyd Robinson, President, click for Erev, Family and Main, please click

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