Monday, April 06, 2009

Our Passover Meal: The Meaning

Now that you know what we're having, here's the meaning behind each of the dishes:

Unleavened Bread: reminds us of what the Israelites made as they had to leave Egypt quickly; they did not have time for the leavening to do its job, so no leaven was used. Also a reminder of freedom from slavery to the Egyptians.
Charoses: represents the mortar used by the Israelite slaves to make bricks in Egypt
Salt water: tears
Bitter herb: horseradish: reminds of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt
Sweet herb: parsley: dipped in the salt water (tears) reminds us of the very simple and lowly conditions that the Israelites lived in.
Hard-boiled Egg: a symbol of mourning
Roasted Lamb: a symbol of the lamb sacrifice

There are many websites you can see for the specific order used in the Passover Seder meal. I've looked here, here and here for info. Considering the ages of our very young children, we will probably keep this extremely simple and perhaps this year, we will just try the foods in order listed and explain why we remember them this time of year.

I've seen mention of chocolate coins at the end of the meal and haven't been able to find it mentioned in any order of the Seder. Is this a tradition or just something that has been added through the years?

I'd appreciate feedback from those who have tried this with young children! And, if you try it this year, please come back and let me know how your Passover meal goes! To God be the glory!


Erika said...

I try to do a Seder dinner with the family every year. My oldest is six this year, so we keep it pretty simple too. We read the Passover story from the Old Testament. Then we have dinner and I explain what we remember (both the OT and NT meanings)when we eat each item. After dinner we sit and read the story of the Last Supper and have a family foot-washing. The kids actually remember (and look forward to) the foot washing more than the meal. Daddy washes Mommy's feet, Mommy the oldest child's, the oldest child's the next oldest's... until the youngest washes Daddy's feet (this actually ends up being all the kids as they all want to wash Daddy's feet).

Hope that helps.

Brie said...

I love the seder feast. Growing up, my church held a feast and it was so neat to see the Christian meaning behind the Jewish traditions. A couple years ago, some Jewish (non-believing) friends of ours had us over for their Seder. It was sadly lacking a lot of joy and meaning. Even though we were all adults, they dad always hid a piece of matza wrapped in linen and then it was my job (being the youngest in attendance) to go and find it. When I did, the reward was chocolate. Maybe that's where the gold coins come in??

Elise said...

We had a seder dinner{in the morning time} at our church one time. It was very interesting and we had the foods that you mentioned above plus lots of other recipes that are typical to what they would have eaten.

Maggie said...

Sorry, not relevant to the post but saw this and thought of you

Anonymous said...

The coins are called gelt which is yiddish for money. Although most popular at Hanuka gelt pops up at many Jewish holidays. The is some histoy behind the gelt but none of it is bibiacl. It's more less like kids having easter candy at easter.

gail said...

we had a seder dinner at our church years ago and it is still a treasured memory. i wish more churches would do it. i applaud you for doing it with your littles. i have not tried it at home with our special needs son as i don't think he would get it. maybe when he's older. blessings on you, monica

Anonymous said...

We have a video put out by Friends of Israel detailing the Passover Seder. At one point the middle Afikomen piece is hidden and later the children search to find it, the one who finds it receives some coins from the leader.

Susan said...

Try this site Our church had one of the head guys come and share the meaning of the Passover and a seder dinner; it was awesome. He mentioned they offered a book for families.

p.s. I love your site; it's on my 'visit everyday' places

Julie Ball said...

I thought of you when I checked out today's daily craft at "Free Kids Crafts" - a printable seder placemat for kids! It is wonderful that you are teaching your children about the Bible, history, and other cultures. They will surely grow up to be very insightful ladies!