* The Passover seder, like many Jewish holidays, is built around ritual readings. The food and wine are important too, of course, but it is the words that will guide our evening. Some will be questions or answers, designed to promote discussion, while others will be statements, which the author fervently believes but which we may or may not agree with. A few sentences will be in Hebrew--to me, it wouldn't be a seder without them--but almost everything will be in plain English.
* As I gathered the bits and pieces of this haggadah, I tried to select passages that address the traditional themes of the ceremony--Judaism, oppression, and liberation--without asking the readers and listeners to be complicit in them. That's a very fine line, and one that's particular to each of us. So as we each read in turn, different people may take different things from different passages:
Reflections on history, or reflections on the future.
Connection to our own communities, or to someone else's.
Confusion about what to say or do, in the seder or in the world.
Overwhelmed by the magnitude of humanity's misdeeds, or underwhelmed and disconnected from some hippie's call to action.
Mindful of our power over those we hold dearest, or over those we've never met.
Privileged and guilty, or privileged and grateful.
* When you're reading, don't hesitate to say something different than what's on the page if something else makes more sense to you. All really I'm going for is making this evening a good experience for each of us, and a night different from other nights. I'm glad you're here to share it.