“Anyone who has celebrated a Passover seder will most probably have experienced the adorable attempt of the youngest child at singing ‘Ma Nishtana’. The song asks ‘The Four Questions’ that each start with: ‘Why is this night different from all other nights?
The Four Questions invite the children into the ceremony and create an opportunity for the leader of the Passover Seder to begin to explain to them the theme of the story: freedom.”
This year’s seder table conversation should be a showstopper. When, “Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights” is asked 4 times at our seder table the answers will surely be what makes this night different from all other nights.
Reflecting on the upcoming 2022 Passover seder, it is clear how the central themes of Passover resonate with relevance in our changing world. Passover happens to be my favorite holiday, and our family tradition has been established from Day One with our kids. Each of our Passover seders stand out from year to year. Many of our seders have become rites of passage as we welcome new additions to our ever expanding family.
During the dinner table discussion as we read from our Haggadah (our passover story books), there is always a discussion around the central question ….Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?This year the answer to this question lies not only in the story of the traditional story of our ancestors’ exodus from Egypt in our seder books but in our daily lives.
1. This year is different than all other nights because it is a reprieve from pandemic isolation. We are especially grateful because we can finally gather after almost a two year hiatus from the family seder table.
Flying in for a holiday celebration was unrealistic and unsafe for our kids during the pandemic, but this year almost all the kids will make the trip. After two years of no family at the Passover table, our gatherings will be full for not one but two full nights. At long last.
2. This year we will have our granddaughters at Passover and Easter and we will celebrate the next generation’s slurping matzoh ball soup, hunting for a hidden matzoh, singing together and looking for Easter eggs.
3. This year we focus on the story of freedom as we witness daily war and destruction in the Ukraine. This year we tell a parallel story of Passover and slavery and talk about the families who have been displaced because a regime has forced them to do so. This year as we read from our Haggadah and dip our bitter herbs as a reminder of suffering, we pray for the freedom and strength of the Ukrainian people.
4. This year when we eat parsley, the symbol of spring, we embrace hope and think about climate change and how our behaviors affect the next generation’s lives. This year we talk about the droughts and fires, tornados and extreme storms that have intensified. This year when we talk about plagues, we have no shortage of current day plagues to discuss. This year will be different because our current day plague of Covid has cannot be ignored. Compromises to our earth, our food supplies, and our bodies have caused us to pay attention to the risks of our own freedoms and remind us that our ancestor’s story is still relevant today.