It was a snowy cold Passover outside this year, but inside it was warm and joyous! We’ve been celebrating Pesach at my Mom and Dad’s for several years now. They have a large Florida room off the walk-out basement that makes for the perfect entertaining area. Especially for larger groups or multiple families. Conveniently, this room is attached to a full kitchen.
This year my mother wanted our Seder to feel more like the first century —- dress and all. So, my father built two 6 foot wide round tables that sat nearly on the ground. We used pillows and bean bags instead of chairs. Mom covered the windows with a beautiful blue fabric and hung red tulle from the ceiling. The idea was to make the room feel and look as much like a “tent” as possible. (:
Those attending were told to dress (optionally) as a bible character. This is where the real fun began! In total there were about 30 of us, with about 10 of those being children under 11. After the dinner and between the 3rd and 4th cups, we have a time reserved in our Haggadah for worship, dance, a children’s play, foot washing, or whatever floats our fancy that year. This year, each person dressed as a bible character, stood up and told the room who they were. We never expected that the children would respond so well. They loved it and were begging for more! Who knew? So, we just might make this a yearly tradition for Pesach.
The Seder has many visual and kinesthetic learning techniques built into the Pesach experience. This process helps the participant to not only mentally retain the elements being presented, but also to experience them as if they were there themselves. This idea was originally given in the commandments of Passover:
“Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ (Ex. 13:7-8)
The reason I think the children responded so well to our biblical characters and dress is because it made their experience more real. And because of that, they will remember Passover 2013 with more clarity. And that is the point my friends. To remember. To experience YHWH’s Passover.