Today is August 17, 2018 -

Universal Judaism

“Plans for Sukkot second-day lunch?”
“How is your family celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut this year?”
“Which of the Mitzvah Day activities are you signed up for?”

Depending on your Jewish circle, each of these questions could be answered either matter-of-factly or with a totally blank stare.  The fact is that we are an incredibly diverse people, and each of us has a unique approach to Judaism.  We have our laws, our customs, our traditions, our beliefs, our values, and even our tastes, which shape our practices.

Yet, if there is one Jewish practice that is close to universal (at least statistically), it is the Passover Seder.  “Where are you having Seder Monday night?” It’s really amazing.  There are almost no blank stares in response.

“Seder is at my house.  All of my kids will be in.”
“We’re going to New Jersey.”
“I make the first Seder—we’re going to friends the second night.”
“Oy, I have 32 people coming over.”

Lots of different answers, but everyone has an answer.

And, of course, every Seder is different.

“We have lengthy discussions and go late into the night.”
“We start and end early for the kids.”
“We read the Maxwell House Haggadah cover to cover.”
“We act out all ten plagues.”
“Our theme is the suffering of _______.”
“It’s all about the gefilte fish.”
“We…”

If you haven’t made your plans yet, I think that there are more community Seders this year than I have ever seen before. Sign up and enjoy.

Shabbat shalom and a zissen Pesach!

Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

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