Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dress Up Your Seder Plate with this Moroccan Custom

True, we’ve just finished with Purim, but that doesn’t mean you should pack up your costume kit. If you read my Passover blogs last year, you’ll remember that I suggested a Turkish custom revolving around a play complete with costumes to start the Seder night. If you haven’t read it, then please go into this blog’s archive. I still think it’s a wonderful way to involve children, plus it serves as a great companion for the following Moroccan custom. With the food symbols in place, some Moroccan Jews “dress up” their Seder plate by covering it with a beautiful scarf. It is brought out to the table once all the guests are seated, so that it can be passed around. Apparently the scarf is removed at this point. Background music accompanies this practice, with everyone singing songs expressing a love for Israel. The last stage of this ritual is gently placing the plate on a child’s head and tenderly turning it around so that all can see the different symbols. Although everyone is sitting, this is a custom that keeps you on your feet – one small slip of the plate, and ooops, you’re a slave to cleaning up the mess.

I know you have loads of Passover preparations and lesson plans to get ready, but please don’t tell me you have enough on your plate. This is a custom you can adapt to your classroom. For starters, here’s a link to some favorite Passover songs. The spiritual “Let My People Go” is a perennial favorite. Next, have a scarf beauty pageant. Ask each student to bring in the most beautiful scarf s/he has at home and have a panel of judges decide which is the winning scarf. Finally, hold a model Seder with your class and make sure to start it with the Turkish play from last year, followed by this custom.

Sounds good to you? In two week’s time I’ll bring you another custom to help you get more kids involved on Seder night.

Happy Passover Planning…Tami

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