Passover Seder

Passover is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish religion. In Leviticus 23 the Bible tells us that there are four holidays that are to be celebrated forever. Passover is one of those four holidays. However, the modern celebration of Passover bear little resemblance to Passover in biblical times. This disconnect between biblical and modern Passover sparked my interest and got me started on a research project to reconstruct biblical Passover. I have been working, on and off, of that project for more than 30 years. I even wrote my own Haggadah which I update every few years to capture my research and to be able to share it with others.

Each year I hold a Passover Seder that is as close as I have been able to reconstruct (with exception of language) to the Passover Seder as it was held in Biblical times. There are many differences between this Seder and a modern Jewish Seder. One of the most obvious differences is that we follow the Bible's command to celebrate as Free Men (freed from bondage in Egypt) and to demonstrate our freedom by reclining at the table, as free men did in Biblical Times.

Passover is also a time of convergence between the Jewish and Christian religions. The Last Supper was a Passover Seder and the early Christians continued to celebrate Passover for hundreds of years. Today there is a growing movement among Christians to return to a celebration of Passover.

Passover is a time for remembering, and to some extent re-living, the Exodus from Egypt. Concerning Passover, the bible commands "In every generation let each one feel as if he or she came forth out of Egypt." We attempt to follow this tenet at our Passover Seder and strive to make the Exodus from slavery into freedom a living personal experience. It is in this spirit that the story of the liberation should be told and handed down from generation to generation, each generation in turn growing up in the knowledge that it would have the responsibility to tell the story to the next one.

Passover represents a key turning point in the history of western (Judeo-Christian) religion. Without the Exodus from Egypt, Judaism would have ceased to exist and Christianity may well never have been born.

Passover is also a time of renewal. It is a celebration of the spring that follows every winter, both physically and spiritually. My research has also lead me to believe that is a time of renewal of man's covenant with God.

The Passover Seder is an important part of the celebration of the holiday. In this joyous religious ritual we celebrate the Exodus from Egypt with feasting and prayer. We celebrate because we, not just our forefathers, have been redeemed.

A Feast in the Wilderness