Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Honored to be Guests

Sometimes the neatest blessings are ones you could never have imagined growing up -- the blessing of friendships that transverse all differences.

Last week, my sweet friend, Susie, invited the Shraders to Passover Seder with her family. Our knowledge of Passover was limited -- we knew WHY it was celebrated and we knew Jesus celebrated Passover just prior to his crucifixion -- beyond that however, we had no idea.

We spent the week studying Exodus, reading about Jesus' last Passover with his disciples and even preparing a poem to present the "Passover Story," which was the portion of the evening Susie "assigned" our family! (Leave me your email addie in the comments if you'd like a copy of our poem!)

The Seder plate is placed in the center of the table. The plate is about symbolism, as I understand it -- the maror is represented by the white horseradish and represents the bitterness of the slavery the Jews endured in Egypt; the charoset (the brown mixture) represents the mortar used by the Jews to build storehouses in Egypt; the parsley is the vegetable that will be dipped into salt water to represent the pain of the Jewish slaves; the shank bone represents the lamb that was offered in sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem; the hard-boiled egg represents the Festival Sacrifice; and the orange was added as an indication that women could also serve as rabbis -- after an older rabbi apparently made a comment like "A woman belongs as a rabbi like an orange belongs on the Seder plate." (Confession: I used the Internet to try and remember everything...I hope I have it even close!!)

In our morning devotion, we had just read about Jesus "reclining with his disciples at the Passover table" so when Susie gave us pillows and told us we had to recline during the Passover meal, we totally could picture Jesus doing the same!

Cate, in particular, thought reclining at the table was way cool! (I liked that her pillow completely coordinated with her outfit -- thanks, Susie!)
Claire dipping her finger for each plague that God sent to the Egyptians to urge the Pharaoh to release the Israelites. Susie explained that we dip the wine out because our joy is not full because even though the Jews were freed, the Egyptians endured much pain and suffering.
Susie's husband -- none other than our dear Dr. Lee (remember Benjamin's surgery?) and Benjamin are big friends. Here they are visiting while everyone under 18 finds the afikoman (matzo)...and gets a prize!

Jessie, Susie's 16-year-old daughter and her cousin made this delicious tort for our Passover desert...it was as yummy as it was beautiful!

And finally, nothing beats the blessing of a friend -- this is Susie and I at the end of our evening. We were so delighted to be part of her family's Passover celebration, and are so blessed by their friendship!


Anonymous said...

it's good!....................

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

What a marvelous and rich experience, Carol! I felt the very same way attending two Bar Mitzvahs. Amazing celebrations. I'm sending a link of your post to Mort, my brother-in-law - he'll love it! ALMOST as much as I love YOU! LOL!