Monday, April 7, 2008

Non-Jews At The Seder

As we are getting ready for Passover, it occurred to me that while we will be having a number of guests coming to our Seder, few people are Jewish. My Mother-in-law will be there, she is Jewish. My Brother-in-law will be there and he is Jewish also, although his wife is not and then, certainly according to Jewish Law, neither is their daughter. The remaining seven people are not Jewish.

From my wife’s perspective this is fine, if not great. It gives us the opportunity to share our practices with other people from other religions. I always enjoy sharing religion and culture with others and learning about their religion, but part of me also likes the idea of being able to experience Jewish experiences with other Jews.

Traditionally Passover is actually not considered the Jewish Holiday for inviting non-Jews; that distinction belongs to Rosh Hashanah as it is the birthday of the world, meaning a holiday for everyone to share. Still, in practice, Passover has become a traditional time to invite non-Jews.

As I said, I am pleased and proud to share the Seder table with people who are not Jewish. Still, to me, the Seder is not just an eating experience but a religious service and ceremony, a religious experience. As a result, I would enjoy sharing the Seder with others who felt that way, with others who would want to talk about their understandings of Passover, as discussion is very much a key element of the Seder.

For now I will enjoy sharing the Seder with those who are coming but for future years I would like to make sure that we have some individuals as well who understand Passover and are interested in talking about the Holiday and the Seder.

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