By Rabbi Sharon Litwin
The essence of the Passover Seder is to retell the story to our children so that they will come to experience the first Passover and Exodus from Egypt as a story of their own. We want them to feel like they are part of the collective memory of the Jewish people from our first steps as free people until now. It’s not so easy to create collective memory, but Passover Seders are one of the best ways that we have to bring joyful Jewish celebrations to life in our families and in our homes.
It’s wonderful to create new traditions to go along with the old. In some families, children throw ping pong balls around to symbolize the hail of the 10 Plagues, or play with leaping frogs or silly animal masks. Having fun with the 10 Plagues is certainly a good way to keep children entertained and engaged with the story. The 10 Plagues are also a good discussion starter for our older children, a conversation could be had about the sadness we feel that the Egyptians had to suffer so that we could gain our freedom could lead to a more in depth look at how we can work to end suffering in our world today.
At Blanche Bayar Religious School (BBRS) we are helping to create Passover memories for our students, such as a Seder for our Gan, Kitah Aleph and Kitah Bet children. Ask your children about what they learned new about Passover in all of their classes in the past few weeks. I would love for them to return after Passover break to share their stories and experiences.