The Seder: Why Bother?

What's the REAL reason you attend a Seder?

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Comments (15)

(12) Anonymous, April 6, 2012 6:39 PM

Jewish Consciousness

Rabbi Yaakov, thanks for an interesting segment. In our less than perfect form of Pesach or Passover commemoration in my home, with the Seder we celebrate the freedom of our spiritual strength, we celebrate our meaninful relationship with Hashem and His Oneness. And equally important, we celebrate the essence and truth of the Torah, and the richness of tradition along with the right of Israel to exist. My best regard for you and your family.

(11) Tova Arons, April 3, 2012 4:54 PM


I am reading people's comments and it breaks my heart. Thanksgiving-like dinner? Family get together?Everyone talks about assimilation so casually and matter-of-factly as if it's a law of nature instead of a choice. My husband and I come from the families of intermarrige, assimilation, and not-even-a-trace of "tradition". But my husband always asks a question: When your child comes to you and asks: "Mama/Daddy, I am Jewish. What does it mean?" - what are you going to answer? that you like bagels with lox? that you do seder once a year? that your great-great-grandmother used to light Shabbos candles? That's why we do seder, that's why we chose to become observant and give our children Jewish upbringing so they know what it means to be Jewish, so they are proud to be Jewish, so marrying a non-Jew is the same choice for them as jumping off the roof of a skyscraper. I so wish that you could come to our seder and enjoy a real seder without ipads, cell phones, tv, gossip etc. Please put some meaning into your seder this year, remember where you came from and think about where you are going. Chag Kasher ve'Sameach.

(10) Robert, April 3, 2012 4:41 PM

Work & personal redemption?

I once saw that someone had noted that Pesach is the most observed Jewish holiday, and that person noted that it is also the holiday that requires the most work. Even those who are not as observant will put much effort into making a Pesach seder. Perhaps it is the very work that we put into Pesach that ends up being the payoff for everyone's own personal redemption during the seder and during Pesach?

(9) Zarayah, April 3, 2012 3:05 AM

Awakening, Freedom and transformation

Pesach awakens an ancient memory of a people becoming free and aids us in the transformation of our souls in recognizing our Oneness with our Creator. Pesach invokes joy, light, love, peace, restoration, revelation, transformation, truth, understanding and wisdom for the Jewish family.

(8) Anonymous, April 3, 2012 1:02 AM

To have a meal together with the remaining few Jewish relatives

Like most of Non-Orthodox Jews, most of my family has intermarried and a few have fully converted to Christianity. But, we get together for one Seder with matza at a non-kosher meal and mostly talk about liberal politics with very little discussion about Judaism. It's sad ,but I believe that we reflect most the American Jewish families. My wife and I realize more and more that assimilation has taken its toll on the extended family and that the children and grandchildren of our relatives will probably just celebrate Easter or nothing at all. As my 24 yr. old nephew recently said to me '' why should I be Jewish at all?'' He's dating a non-Jewish girl and his Judaism ended after his Bar Mitzvah. Welcome to the state of American Non-Orthodox Judaism!!

Anonymous, April 3, 2012 3:02 PM

Very Sad

It is tremendously unfortunate that this is the state of American Judiasm

A. Polan, April 7, 2012 6:24 PM

Seder comments

I agree; very sad, indeed.....

Hannah, April 7, 2012 3:12 AM

I chose to be jewish

hello, i am new to this site, I wanted to comment that i come from a jewish mother of northern african ancestery and a father odf scottish descent, when they married they were very aware that the decison to raise me jewish or let me hang out until i was older was an option, they decided to raise me jewish, my father converted before i was born, i love all of the cultural lineage of my family, and i know that being who i am is a rich spritual thing. I cant believe how some say, why do you observe on passover, besides you dont look jewish, it is just some tired tradition, i am giving up for game night with friends, i loove judiansim, yes i am reform but i dont take it lightly. it is sad here in america where one is judged by the colour of her or his skin, or being told one is not that jewish", being jewish is not just a religion it is a state of mind, and reflects in the work i do, and how i spend my time, how i treat others, my parents made a great decision, i feel very sorry for those who make their hair straight, become blonde, and play at life as if it is not a gift, trying to change the outside in order to be accepted, i am consideering moving into orthodoxy becasue of the lack of togetherness we share as jewish people, the lack of care some show for others, the vlaues that were lost, yes it is a sad stae of afairs in america, in many ways as well, i am single but i have extende family and to lose that would be tragic. i have lost my parents but i have lots of jewish bubbies and papa, uncles, i am so blessed becasue of judiasim. thank you for letting me share

(7) Caryn Amster, April 2, 2012 6:51 PM

Our Passover

We always invite one non Jewish couple and they always love it - many of our kids and grandkids have married non Jews - this ceremony acquaints these folks with our tradition - and the teen agers can hopefully relate to being Jewish a little as they start in the world - the babies get to experience it a little and they never forget anything - family from all over the country gets to see eachother - even ones that dont particularly like eachother - that is why even though I am not in the best of health I am having Passover again this year

(6) Ruth, April 2, 2012 6:41 PM

I go to a Seder because!

As a Holocaust Survivor and not being able to admit to the fact that I was Jewish for survival sake. It is a way for me to connect with family that I was able to have due to the fact that I survived. It gives me great pleasure to see my youngest grandson read the 4 questions. We connect at the table as a family like no other time. In these busy times and high tech toys it is the only time they are put down and we concentrate on each other and the story at hand.

(5) Dr. Robert Haas, April 2, 2012 4:57 PM

The first commandment

The first commandment was to paint our doorpost with lamb's blood and then "eat the entire lamb". No mention of any exception. "This month shall be the beginning of months, IT SHALL BE THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU (Exodus 12:2). Le Shana Tova.!

(4) Anonymous, April 2, 2012 3:37 PM

Even if just for that night, we want to be Jewish among Jews.

I am answering your question for my non-religious cousins, etc. I believe that is why they attend. At my extended famiy's Seder there will be about 40 people of varying observance. The hosts do a great job with food, beautiful tables, haggadahs, but we never even finish the Seder. At the meal part, it ends. I go to that Seder truly for tradition and seeing my family. The next night I do my own Seder that has the whole thing actually in it so my kids will know what the Seder is, even though mine is not as filled with prayers as an Orthodox Seder, which can be many hours long.

(3) Esther, April 2, 2012 3:32 PM

Passing of our beliefs

The seder for many is just like a thanksgiving meal, simply a family get-together. However, this is not what it's supposed to be. Sedarim are the time for fathers to pass down their beliefs to their children. through the seder, we can strengthen and renew our emunah and bitachon in Hashem.

(2) millie snyder, April 2, 2012 2:44 PM

why attend a Sedar?

Because it's keeping our tradition alive. Teaching the story to children is the most important reason of all. Go with excitement and joy and those are the things you will bring to the event.

(1) Mike Nemeroff, April 2, 2012 2:12 PM

Renewal for myself and education for grandchildren

I like a reat many Jews are not very active I use Pesach to renew my Judaism. I feel reconnected with not only my family but the Jewish diaspora. It is also a time to show my young grandchildren one of the many reasons it is special to be a Jew and to appreciate how our forefathers suffered to allow us to be where we are today


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