I very much appreciate that the Seder is an interactive storytelling event that engages all the senses. We will all be coming together to present the gift of our story and identity to the next generation, and we will be gifting ourselves with a sense of community and time for personal reflection.
Since our understanding changes as we age, we get something new out of it each year. We also have an opportunity to acknowledge different parts of ourselves. If we take the idea to heart to consider the story as if it were happening in real time, we may feel a sense of gratefulness and awe.
We may feel a strong connection to our ancestors and community who are part of our journey. When we retell the more painful parts of the story, we can have contempt for injustice in the world. We may ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be and what kind of legacy we want to leave.
The suffering of the ancient Egyptians reminds us to have compassion for humanity. The fact that we have endured, and our story has endured for thousands of years may remind us of a power greater than ourselves. Each of our Seders may have a different emphasis depending on what is important to us.
We might focus on engaging young children or have an emphasis on a cause we care about. We may go out of our way to make a special night so that others feel cared about. We may hold sweet memories or create new ones. We will have a meaningful time with our families or the friends who are like family.
At the end when we say, “Next year in Jerusalem,” we will be declaring our hope for a better future. I love that we end on hope because it is our hope that keeps us going.
Kyra Goldman is administrative coordinator for the Atlanta Jewish Times.