A seder like you’ve never seen

We’re less than two weeks away from the first night of Passover, Monday April 18. This year the wandering and ever-confusing cycles of the Jewish and Christian calendars leave us with Passover coinciding with Easter.

Historically, many scholars believe the Last Supper was a Passover seder held by Jesus and his disciples. So, in honor of the overlap of the holidays this year, with a nod to the wonderful Christian readers of this blog, and with apologies to Mr. Da Vinci, here’s a picture of a seder like you’ve never seen:

I’d love to credit the Photoshop artist — but got this through an email with no credit given.

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A couple of small unrelated notes, and then my next post will return to my usual longer-essay format:

Last month I was honored to be invited to write a guest post about my Bat Mitzvah for Mothering in the Middle, a blog about women who become mothers after 40. (I became a mom at 36, but who’s counting?) The post is called “At 53, I Am a Woman.” Some of it will sound familiar to Midlife Bat Mitzvah readers, but some is new. You can read that essay here.

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And following up on our discussion about haggadot from a few weeks ago, here’s a link to a Kibbutz Artzi haggadah from 1964. Kibbutz Artzi was the most left-wing of the kibbutz federations in Israel, affiliated with Hashomer Hatzair, the youth group I belonged to as a teen in New York.

I hadn’t seen this in years. Historically, it’s interesting to notice how it differs from the haggadah our family uses today.

They’re both modernized and supplemented, but the kibbutz one has a ton more references to nature and agriculture (back to the land and all that!), a more Zionist slant (“we have built a house on our own soil, a steadfast home, for the exiled of Israel”), and the Holocaust is much more of a constant presence. (Not surprising when you realize that 1964 was less than 20 years away from the concentration camps, as recent and immediate to people then as memories of Becca  in diapers are to me.)

While the kibbutz haggadah includes Hebrew poems by Bialik and Alterman, our haggadah includes African-American spirituals like Go Down Moses.

A Labor-Zionist seder versus a liberal-American seder! What’s lovely about personalized haggadot is how they tell a timeless story but also reflect the culture around us, the things on our minds at a certain moment in time.

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6 Responses to “A seder like you’ve never seen”

  1. James D. Richardson Says:

    Great photo! Definitely headed for my blog next Monday!! One other detail — Jesus must also have been Episcopalian, the painting proves it. Note how carefully the table cloth has been ironed and creased.

  2. segmation Says:

    Since you like da Vinci, check this out. Enjoy and thanks! http://segmation.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/leonardo-and-picasso-artists-of-their-times-www-segmation-com/ segmation dot com. Happy Passover!

  3. Susan Fernbach Says:

    Love the photo, but they left out the Manischevitz… :-)

  4. Christina Baglivi Tinglof Says:

    Cute photo! It’s true, Christians believe that the Last Supper was a sedar. In fact, during Holy Week, we too celebrate a form of the sedar called, Agape.

  5. James D. Richardson Says:

    Manischevitz? I think Jesus would only have had a Joseph Heitz Cabernet, or perhaps a Mondavi Opus ONE.

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