A Jewish Seder
I’ve always wanted to attend a Jewish seder (Passover meal), so when my daughter’s church had one the other night, she signed me and my husband up. Seder literally means the “set order” of the Passover service.
A man from Jews for Jesus gave a wonderful presentation which helped us all understand better what the Passover meal involved and what each food represented.
The room was set with about 20 tables, and 6-8 people of all ages sat at each one. The mother of the household has the honor of lighting the candles. There were 3 ladies at our table, but since I was sitting at the end closest to the candles, I stood to light them while Mr. Cohen spoke this traditional prayer. “Blessed are Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctifies us by His commandments and commands us to kindle the festival lights,” and then the Messianic prayer: “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctifies us through Y’shua the Messiah, the Light of the world.”
We started out by drinking the cup of sanctification–the first of the four cups of grape juice taken during the meal. The prayer over the cup is called Kiddush and says “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe who brings forth fruit from the vine.”
Then we tasted some very strong horseradish which represented the ground bitter herb or “maror”. The next two cups represented plagues/judgment and redemption/blessing. I’m not sure of the order, but during this part of the meal we also tasted “chaggigah” (roasted egg), “karpas” (greens) and “charoseth” (a very tasty mixture of apples, cinnamon and nuts which represented the mortar the children of Israel had to mix while in captivity in Egypt) and “matzoh” (unleavened bread.) The prayer over the bread was “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” The last cup we partook of was the cup of praise (also called the cup of acceptance or cup of Elijah.)
We then enjoyed a pot-luck meal of traditional Jewish foods. I made a huge platter of cheese blintzes topped with cherry pie filling and they were soon gone! Some of the foods I enjoyed most were the chicken soup and also the lamb with mint jelly.
We resumed the service by Mr. Cohen asking the 4 questions always asked of the children at the Passover meal. We then did a responsive reading of Psalm 113 and Mr. Cohen taught us a couple of Jewish songs. Then the children hunted for the Afikomen “that which comes later” which was a piece of the matzoh bread hidden earlier. Mr. Cohen spoke of how the bread was taken from the center panel of a 3 layer pouch, and affirmed that this was a foreshadowing of Christ as part of the triune God who was our Passover lamb.
This was a very symbolic evening pointing to the reason for Jesus coming to be the Lamb of God, the sacrifice for our sins. The service reminded me of the cup and bread of communion. I would encourage all who have a chance to participate in a seder to do so to gain more understanding of our Jewish roots and Christ as the fulfillment of the Passover. For more information or to schedule a seder at your church, go to www.jewsforjesus.org