A Spiritual Passover Seder Menu – Passover is an Annual Gestalt Experiment
from Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat
Kadeish – Chanting the Kiddush over the Wine
Raise the brimming Kiddush, “holiness” cup of red wine. Wine is the symbol of gevurah, “strength,” and brimming over with “vitality,” the abundance mind-set that it takes to commit and to let go of what you have in anticipation of a better future.
Urkhatz – Washing the hands
This hand washing is a moment of ritual purification. Water is our symbol for khessed, overflowing loving-kindness. You are the high priest for your seder and so you might guide those present to immerse their hands and then lift up their intention for words of lovingkindness to fill this seder time together.
Karpas – Eating a bit of green vegetable
A green vegetable is dipped in salt water or vinegar, symbolizing tears. This is an appetizer of what is to come, new green shoots of life after deadening enslavement of body, mind, and spirit.
Yakhatz – Breaking the middle matzah
Half will be hidden; this is the bread of unawareness, within ourselves and our children. What will it take to experience redemption? Do you know? Even if not, the meal can’t be finished without taking a taste and chewing on what the ingredients of redemption might be!
Maggid – Telling the Exodus story
Become the story as it is told. Feel yourself as Moses appearing before Pharaoh; taste the bitterness of slavery. Take the opportunity before you. Trust, flee leave Egypt! Despite feeling that you will die, cross the sea. Rejoice! Feel the surging current of creation alive, pouring through you.
Ratzakh – Washing the hands before eating with a traditional blessing this second time.
“I lift up my hands in thanks for Your blessing “ (verse from song by Rabbi Judy Kummer)
Motzi – Blessing before eating a meal with a bread substance in it
May this bread renew my connection to the process of creating life from dust – mae afar kumi- lifting up the plate of three matzot, bless the creative process of nourishment coaxed from what once was simply earth.
Matzah – blessing over the three sheets of unleavened bread, eating the matzah
A reminder of the double portion that came on Shabbat in the wilderness after hurrying toward freedom. “When I have nothing left to draw on, matzah teaches me to trust and go on.”
Maror- blessing over bitter herbs, eating some.
Bitter lettuce heart or horseradish is eaten; just enough to raise the memory of bitter times. Bless the Source of this pungent reminder that life has ebbs and flows. May I learn enough not to pass the way of my life’s bitterness lessons yet again.
Korekh – a matzah sandwhich is made with bitter hers and sweet apple/date/nut/wine mixture called kharoset.
Reclining to one side, not enslaved to time nor any pharaoh…pause, taste the spice of life. “May I learn equanimity to take life as it comes, to bless, taste and embrace the bitter with the sweet.”
Shulkhan Arukh – Festival table arrayed with the delicious Passover meal – let’s eat.
It is a mitzvah to contribute to the meal with foods created by your own hands – the seder is a holy effort to both live and receive. “May the love added to this food during its preparation fill me so I am pregnant with celebration, bursting with passion for freedom. May all who hunger come and eat.”
Tzafun – Finding and eating the matzah half called the Afikomen
Around the table may be those who almost lost Judaism as their spiritual pass (pass pieces of the afikomen around for those who so identify, so they can take a piece of the whole.) “May we all be blessed to add our questions and answers to Judaism as an evolving tradition.”
Barekh – It is so much easier to feel the flow of blessings after eating. “You are the Source of Life for all that is and Your Blessings flow through me.” [verse by Rabbi Shefa Gold]
Hallel – Psalms and songs of celebration
The Kabbalists call these psalms “vessels of grace.”
Nirtzakh – Concluding the seder – On this holy night, guide us, Your seedings, so that next year in Jerusalem there will be______________. At Sinai we say, naaseh v’nishmah – “We will do and we will listen.” Seems backwards! Seder shows that through doing of ritual, we listen in on the wisdom of the ancients of our people.