Sunday, March 11, 2012

Combine Passover Customs from Tunisia, Yemen and Turkey for a Unique Model Seder

It's that time of the year again. Time to make seder -- which literally means "order" in Hebrew. This year try a new world order by combining customs from 3 countries. It's a thinking-out-of-the-box suggestion and I promise it will engage your children and students.

Start your Passover tour by going to Tunisia with a custom that I brought up last year -- sitting on mattresses. They're comfortable, definitely have reclining space, and yes, they make the experience a lot more authentic for children.

Next stop: Yemen. Forget about the seder plate. They have a seder table, meaning they place all the symbols on the table itself. I suggest you use either very low tables or the floor. Put down a tablecloth and arrange the Passover food symbols on all four corners and/or in the middle.  Make it plentiful, yummy and colorful, with an aroma that can't be beat.

Final destination: Turkey. Jews living in this Western Asian country follow the wonderful Sephardic custom of beginning the Seder with a play. I always bring up this custom because it's my favorite. It has the Purim costume element with a family member dressing up as one of the Children of Israel. S/he conducts a short dialog with the seder leader by answering the questions: "Who are you?" "But I thought you are a slave, where are you going?" "What was it like in Egypt?"

Get the picture? A homespun, down to earth approach in this day and age of ready made props and video clips.

Enjoy! I'll be back with more Passover customs.

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1 comment:

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