One of the things that is fairly consistent across most organized religions is the secondary role women play.
There are nuns, but will never be a woman pope, Muslim woman clearly don’t have a voice, and although more progressive branches allow women cantors and rabbis that is relatively new in Judaism.
In all, the stories, recorded and told by men focus on the actions and contributions of men. But there were women, strong, smart women, making contributions to our history as well. The Women’s Sedar celebrates their contributions.
This is not just a traditional sedar celebrated by women, but very different look at the events surrounding the Exodus, focusing on the contributions of women.
You know it is going to be a different kind of sedar as soon as you see the sedar plate. Along with the traditional egg, horse radish choroset ( nuts and apples), salt water, and parsley there is an orange, olive, tomato, artichoke and even a small slice of bread!
There is a story that when asked about a woman’s leadership role in Judaism, he responded that she had as much place as an orange on a Sedar plate. So the orange proudly sits front and center.
But what about the other pieces? Women are not the only groups left out of traditional Judiasm, so are gays and lesbians as are interfaith couples and families. They are represented by the bread and the artichoke.
Our hope for peace in the middle east is expressed through the one small olive. And the tomato, with it’s blood red color marks the concern for the ongoing slavery and human trafficking which still occurs around the world today.
I have always loved Passover, with its promise of spring and celebration of freedom. This sedar plate only makes me love the holiday more. That and the fact that I can share the evening with other women, including my very adult daughter, Michelle.