Passover Seder

  1. Hi - just wanted to answer the question by Danu regarding the Passover Seder our church recently had that caroladybelle had a hard time with in a way that wouldn't be off-topic again.

    I mentioned in that thread that my pastor had a life-changing experience as a teen when his father took him to a concentration camp and talked to him about man's inhumanity to man and then about the fact that we can also be very compassionate and loving and that the world does NOT have to be so bigoted and prejudiced and hateful and evil. I talked to him recently about the concerns of carol and I've included some snippets of that conversation. Hopefully it will be seen that we are trying to educate, not steal.

    My pastor always teaches that "the New Testament is Jewish through and through. The vast majority of Jesus' Followers in the 1st century were Jewish and they celebrated the Jewish Holidays in the Jewish Community. It wasn't until later that the Gentile church began consciously separating itself from Jewish tradition - sadly and wrongly so. So now Christian holidays (in the west) are tied to Roman pagan holidays. The Eastern Orthodox traditions are somewhat different. They actually call Easter Pascha which is Greek for Passover."

    "I can't change all of western tradition - I just want to remember what Jesus did and celebrate the Resurrection of our Jewish Messiah. I don't worry about getting all the dates just so - because I know God doesn't care. What I want to get is everyone's attention - and on the calendar holiday people are thinking about it. Sometimes Passover coincides with Easter and sometimes not - it is a teaching opportunity for us."

    "We aren't trying to be Jewish but are fleshing out what all this means. Many Jewish people appreciate these efforts to learn because for centuries the Catholic and Orthodox churches used Easter as a time to fan into flames the very wrong "christ-killer" charge against the Jews and persecuted them. Our teaching and practice is set up to block and oppose that whole effort and notion. "

    "Actually, modern rabbinic Judaism developed at the same time the church was developing - but Christians were initally regarded as a sect of Judaism."

    I also spoke with one of our docs yesterday, who is Jewish. I asked him if he was offended about our church including a Passover Seder in our Easter celebration and he said "absolutely not". He went on to explain that our two religions are forever intertwined and mentioned that the New Testament is Jewish too.

    I realize I'm new at this but I just want caroladybelle and beachnurse to know that in no way were we trying to offend but just to teach. That Jews and Christians share a heritage. I realize we don't share a Messiah and that is fine. But the Jews and their story is fundamental to Christianity.

    I think we should let everyone share their traditions in America - that would be education.

    Please take this with my sincere wish that it would foster understanding and openness and education and love among those of us with different religious traditions.


    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Mar 30, '05
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I grew up in the Detroit area and there were always Passover Seders with several religions invited offered by many synagogues. That is the way that is should be...........
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from suzanne4
    I grew up in the Detroit area and there were always Passover Seders with several religions invited offered by many synagogues. That is the way that is should be...........
    I forgot - my pastor mentioned that too. He lived in Chicago and had the same experience. Thanks for reminding me.

  5. by   barefootlady
    I have my 3 lovable Jewish family members here now and we are enjoying our blended Easter traditions. I learn something from them each time they come and they learn from me. I would not have it any other way. Jesus said
    "Love one another", he did not say "Love one another as long as everyone is agreeable to the same thoughts, traditions, and religion." Easter is a time of new beginnings, atonement, and forgiveness, so if we practiced these concepts more, we would all be better examples of our faiths. :kiss
  6. by   caroladybelle
    You don't get it, Steph.

    There is nothing wrong with Christians celebrating a traditional Passover.

    There is nothing wrong with Christians holding a Jewish sedar during the Easter.

    But a traditional Passover sedar is about people escaping the bondage of slavery, establishing themselves as a people unlike others in the worship of G-d, the creation of the very laws that govern our existance.

    Dan commented that y'all consider it in the nature of Jesus having taken the place of the passover lamb and being killed to take away mankind's sins. Well, the killing of the passover lamb has nothing to do with assuaging our sins...and as we do not believe in original sin, the analogy makes no sense in Jewish tradition. So it makes no "respectable" sense to incorporate into a Christian Easter tradition....and changing the date incorporates in a disrespectful way.

    Steph, think of it this way......your pastor goes to Iraq and witnesses the intense suffering and inhumanity to mankind Muslims, they are "people of the book" also. He decides to celebrate and incorporate their religious traditions into your "bridge the gap" between Muslims and Christians. But, oops, Ramadan (a time of fasting and repentence) just happens to be in the same time period as Christmas.

    So he decides that you will start your church's advent a month late, so that y'all can celebrate Ramadan, a holy and reverent tradition, which involves fasting and therefore has a great deal in common with Christianity....after all, Christ fasted. And you will have a very "traditional Christmas", with the very proper Christmas eve service "with all the traditions" two monthes later in February.

    Do you think that anyone in your church would have issues with that??????

    If you wish to show respect to Judaism and celebrate a traditional Passover, please do it at Passover. And bar any conversation about Jesus, once the service starts...because he wasn't there.

    But if you hold a dinner celebrating some Christian connection, or altering it's date to accomadate a Christian holy day, it is a sedar. It is not "Passover" nor traditional in any sense of the word.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________


    I know that you mean well....and I have heard the story of your pastor's trip to Europe any number of times. But that does not mean that you or he "get it". And I am surprised that you have a problem with the fact that you may not "get it". It is not necessary to understand these things and I do not expect my friends to "get it". Just understand that some of us consider it disrespectful to change our holy days to accomodate your holy days and then preach that it is something to "bridge the gap" and foster understanding.

    If your pastor really wants to bridge a gap or foster understanding, hold a Passover on Passover. Bar any discussion of Jesus during the dinner. Have the church hall remove any non kosher products from it. Spend the week cleaning the entire area of any dirt grime, nonkosher products. Throw away any yeast or yeast containing products from your kitchen and home. Cleanse your home of anything nonkosher whatsoever.

    (Real Passover is a lot of work)

    And then hold Passover on Passover.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Anything else is a sedar. And there is nothing wrong with Sedar....but it is not Passover, nor traditional Passover.
  7. by   prmenrs
    Let's practice a bit of forebearance ourselves in respecting and honoring one another's beliefs and practices. Just because I don't do it the way you do doesn't mean that either of us are wrong! The same goes for those folks over there who are doing something completely different than we are.
  8. by   BeachNurse
    I didn't have a big problem with my mother-in-law (a Christian who is 100% positive that I am going hell) telling me a couple years ago that her church had a Passover seder at Easter, but in my mind, it was not a true Passover seder. I personally believe that Passover holds a completely different meaning to Jews than to Christians. I am not saying we can't share the holidays (LOTS of holiday-sharing in my life), but I agree that a true Passover seder would be held during the calendar holiday and not during Easter. I would rather share in one side of my family's Easter and the other side's Passover in the traditional manner that those holidays were intended. On Passover there are specific prayers and traditions that hold special meaning to Jews. Yes, our histories are intertwined, but I do not believe that you can be both Jewish and Christian at the same time. During the time of Jesus, the people who remained committed to the core beliefs of Judaism are in no way Christian. I have a deep respect for Christians and at the same time I feel that certain Christians feel the need to make non-Christians feel as though they are "missing out" on something, or like they would be happier if they were only Christians themselves. I used to really be offended by people who wanted to convert me, but now I see that they just want us to know the type of happiness/peace/joy that they have in Jesus. Fortunately I am happy with my G-d and it does not sway me from my faith.

    This is all ramblings from my own perspective, of course. Thanks Steph..I mean no hositility know that we agree on a lot of things. Believe me, it's hard being a Jewish family thinks I am nuts.
    Last edit by BeachNurse on Mar 30, '05
  9. by   jnette
    tempted... so very tempted to get in on this one..

    BUT... I shall resist the temptation and constrain myself. :chuckle

    Dang it !
  10. by   BeachNurse
    Dates of Passover:
    Pesach will occur on the following days of the Gregorian calendar:
    * Jewish Year 5765: sunset April 23, 2005 - nightfall May 1, 2005
    * Jewish Year 5766: sunset April 12, 2006 - nightfall April 20, 2006
    * Jewish Year 5767: sunset April 2, 2007 - nightfall April 10, 2007
    * Jewish Year 5768: sunset April 19, 2008 - nightfall April 27, 2008
    Last edit by BeachNurse on Mar 30, '05
  11. by   jnette

    That's all I'm going to contribute.

    Now I'm outta here !
  12. by   danu3
    Now about Terri's case...

    What?! I am off topic again?!!!!

  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from danu3
    Now about Terri's case...

    What?! I am off topic again?!!!!
    LOL, not a problem, Dan. No one seems to be staying much on topic anywhere these days, Dan.
  14. by   danu3
    Quote from jnette

    That's all I'm going to contribute.

    Now I'm outta here !
    The very end of the article mentioned that there are differences between Western Christianty (Catholic, Protestants,... etc) and Eastern Christianty (the different Orthodox Churches) which is interested. It looks like Eastern Christians uses the Passover from the Hebrew Bible as a reference point. Also it seemed they go with the account according the John where the Last Supper was before the passover so that Jesus' death will coincide with the sacrificice of the passover lamb. While the Western Christian side with the the account according to Mat, Mark, and Luke where the Last Super is during the Passover. That is what cause all the disagreements between different scholars about when was the Last Super.

    Decent article where it is informational and written in a understandable manner.