Why You Should Actually Finish Your Seder This Year
(Dayenu, You Know?)
We’ve all been there. The first 10 steps of the seder are over, and you and your family are ready to chow down on the delicious meal that has been prepared over weeks several weeks. You all sit together, talk and laugh and joke about how next year you’re going to fly everyone to a resort in Florida, and then… your guests start dropping off.
in spite of the groans and yawns, Read on to find out why you should push forward and stay through to the end!
Why You Should Actually Finish Your Seder This Year (Dayenu, You Know?)
The young ones who are already in their pajamas are heading up to bed and your uncles are already making their way to the couch or tiptoeing to the door to get their coats. Not this year!
Even though the post-meal steps of the seder aren’t necessarily the main event, there’s actually a lot of fun you’re missing out on if you don’t make it to the very end. Let us explain:
1. Afikomen Hunting
During one of the earlier steps of the seder, Yachatz, (washing of the hands) a piece of matzah is stashed away and hidden. “Tzafun”, the step after the big meal, is the part of the seder where traditionally the children of the family go and try to find the matzah, with the successful hunter winning a prize. I don’t know about you, but this was always my favourite part of the seder as a kid, and it’s a great tradition to pass along from generation to generation. There is also a beautiful kabbalistic reason for the afikoman.
In Kaballah, “Tzafun” means “essence”. During the course of the Passover seder, we are peeling back the layers of ourselves by reliving our history in Egypt. After the meal, we are ready to “find” ourselves, but this still takes some work. Looking for the Afikoman is a fun exercise for kids, but it also reminds us to look within ourselves as the seder comes to a close, and reflect on all that has transpired.
2. Two Extra Cups Of Wine
Who can say no to that right? All jokes aside though, the next two parts of the seder: Barech (Giving Thanks) and Hallel (Psalms) are two of the most beautiful parts of the seder, and they really drive the message of Passover home. Passover is about reliving our history and being thankful that all those years ago we were taken out of Egypt and are now free and able to enjoy the holidays with our friends and families. It’s also the time of the evening where you’re free to sing any traditional songs you want, (Chagadiya: One Little Goat) being one of our personal funny favourites.
3. Finishing The Process
We know the Seder can be long, but there’s something so satisfying about closing the book and saying those famous lines: Next year in Jerusalem! “Nirtzah,” the term for the final step of the seder, is directly translated to mean “accepted,” not “ending” as some may expect. By completing the seder, we are symbolically accepting everything that we have been reminded of (if we’re seder veterans) or what we have been taught (if we’re the youngest asking the four questions).
The Passover seder is a beautiful yearly ritual that, even while being exciting, can also be a little daunting. Give the full event a try this year; it’ll be an experience, especially the second night ;).
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