Thursday, March 29, 2007

Holiday of (praying for) Freedom

I have found that people are always looking for a new "angle" at their seder. Not that they have a problem with the traditional text and tunes, but that something unexpected should take place, too. This fits in well with the view of the Sages that the seder is an exercise in pedagogy, and that it is essential to keep everyone – and specifically the children – interested and participating.

One of my favorite additions here in Israel is including midrashim on the last passage in the Arami Oved Avi story emphasizing the modern day return to the Holy Land.

Recent contributions to Lookjed have included suggestions that we remember the on-going tragedy in Darfur or, perhaps, the issue of global warming as we celebrate our sedarim. These suggested prayers have been criticized by some Lookjed readers who argue that the Pesach seder should reflect ideals of freedom, and should not be a "catch-all" for every prayer.

Which is why I would like to point you to a new prayer that I think we can all agree is appropriate for seder night. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has written a prayer calling for freedom for the three Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped last summer. You can find the prayer in English or in Hebrew.

Hag Kasher ve-Same'ah!

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