Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passover Meal

For the last few years my husband and I have celebrated Passover together. We have always kept it simple, but each year we add a few new elements to our tradition. Some of the elements we adapt from Jewish tradition, and others we find ourselves.

This is what we did this year:

For the Meal:

Unleavened bread (pita)
Roasted Potatoes with bitter herbs (thyme and rosemary)
Charoset (chopped apples with ground almonds, and grapejuice- represents the mortar of the bricks that the Israelites made in Egypt)
Red Grape Juice

Some things we did to help us think about the meaning of the day:

Ryan hid little bags with pieces of leavened bread around the house for M to find. Once she had them all hunted down, we had her throw them all out of the house. (Represents the purging of sin out of our lives)I decorated the table with appropriate images and Scriptures for us to contemplate while we ate. (Scriptures that helped us to think about the meanings of the foods)

Each of us brought our suitcases to the table and left them there during the meal. We figured that this was the modern equivalent of eating with our "sandals on, cloaks tucked in, and staffs in hand" like the Israelites did when they had to be ready at a moments notice to leave Egypt.
We each had five glasses filled with grape juice in front of us. Each glass had a promise on it from Exodus 6:6-8. Jews traditionally drink four glasses of wine during their meal in honor of those promises that the Lord has fulfilled for them. The fifth glass, representing the Lord's bringing them into the land and giving them possession of it, they do not drink. They call it Elijah's cup and leave it in honor of the coming Messiah and fulfillment of his promises. Ryan and I decided to drink half of the fifth glass. (Representing the partial fulfillment in Christ's first coming, but remembering that the final consummation of that promise will come when He takes us to our final home)

We read aloud the story of the Passover from Exodus before our meal.

Traditions that we did not do this year but hope to incorporate in the future:

I hope to clean the house thoroughly before Passover next year. Orthodox Jews do this to make sure they get rid of all possible leaven. I think the symbolism is a good reminder to me of the seriousness with which God views sin. (I also think I can use any extra motivation I can get for cleaning! :-)

Leave the door open. Traditionally Jews leave the door open during Passover as a sign that Elijah or the Messianic figure is welcome into their home for the meal. I think this would be a nice reminder of Christ's presence. (We didn't do it this year because we don't have a screen- but maybe next year!)

Does your family have any special ways that it commemorates Passover? I'd love to hear about them!

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