The Passover Seder is perhaps the most cherished and kept of all Jewish traditions, maybe even outranking the solemn fast of Yom Kippur in the list of Jewish observances. The reason for this is that on Seder night we go back in time and re-enact the story of our people’s exodus from Egypt, as our sages write, “every person is obligated to see himself as if he left Egypt.”
Have you ever noticed that during the reading of the Haggadah, we sing the praises of Hallel, but do not add the preceding and concluding blessing like on all other holidays? The reason for this is simple. On Seder night we are not singing Hallel to remember the Exodus, we are spontaneously singing with our ancestors as if we were marching out with them. On this night there is no need to recite the words “for He has commanded us,” because it is coming straight from the heart.
Now over 3,300 years after we became a nation, how can we relay this timeless message to our children? How can we as educators and parents best prepare them and encourage them to become full participants in this most special of evenings? The Ji Tap platform has a wealth of games and videos to help your children gear up for Seder night, so let’s take a look at a few.
Ma Nishtana by Edna Sable
This game a series of puzzles to teach children how to read and sign the Ma Nishtana or the four questions asked by children to their parents at the Seder. The children will be challenged to unscramble the phrases and words of the four questions and put them into the appropriate blank boxes. As each question is placed into the right order, the game moves to a video clip showing the player how to pronounce and sign each stanza.
Tip for Your Seder: The Seder night is all about the children, as is written, “you shall tell you son” from generation to generation. So, at the very beginning of the Seder, we want to get the children involved by getting them to ask questions.
Seder Plate By Linnea Bassin
Seder night is all about re-enacting the bitterness of the slavery and then the euphoria of redemption. As we say in the Haggadah, “from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity,” and what better way to experience that than through food! This video explains why we have each item on the Seder plate, including: The Shank Bone, Egg, Bitter Herbs, Charoset and Karpas through a fun and explanatory video.
Tip for Your Seder: The great Sephardic sage, the Ben Ish Chai, explains dipping the Karpas in salt water and Bitter Herbs in Charoset as follows:
- The Karpas in salt water reminds us of the selling of Joseph by his brothers to Egypt To fool their father Jacob that an animal killed Joseph, the brothers dipped his tunic in blood. This bitter experience was the very reason why the Jewish People found themselves in Egypt in the first place.
- The dipping of the bitter herbs in Charoset is in remembrance of the night we left Egypt. God commanded the Jewish People to dip the bundles of hyssops into the blood of the Passover Sacrifice and smear it on the door lintels so that God would pass over their houses during the killing of the firstborn of Egypt.
As part of our re-enactment of the Exodus story, we have one dipping in salt water to remember the pain of brothers fighting among each other and one dipping in sweet Charoset to remember the great unity and joy of leaving our bondage.
Please download our Pesach e-Book for more games and videos in preparation of Passover.