Something new to worry about: It began with the conversation with one of my oldest friends, who is a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera. She noted that ticket sales were down due to the fact that people do not like to commit to subscriptions, which requires them to be in attendance at a performance at a certain time on a certain evening. She also noted that her cousin, who is a director of the National Theater in London, had told her that all of the performing arts are in trouble because we live today in an on-demand world.
When we think of the challenges of hosting a seder, the physical – the cleaning and cooking – immediately spring to mind. Another challenge is negotiating the tension between the meal’s ritual requirements and the obligation to make the story actually speak to the participants who are there.
As families gather around the Seder table, they encounter the four children. Some take the position that the four children really represent different aspects of each individual person. I would like to share a story with you that examines the question: Can our presence at the Seder bring order to our lives and allow the different aspects of who we are to integrate as one person?
For the past 62 years, two seemingly unrelated events in the Jewish world mark the early days of spring in New York City: The Annual Israeli Folk Dance Festival and preparations for the Passover seder.
Judaism offers much wisdom to help people in our communities cultivate the resilience to recover from the aftereffects of Sandy, a storm that created a unique situation affecting an estimated 54 million people in 24 states.
A couple of weeks ago, a Passover rap video—all in Hebrew, and with beat-boxing—went viral. It featured two fairly typical looking American Jews dressed up as Pharaoh, Moses, and a sleuth of other biblical characters. Then there were scenes of a Jewish girl in an Israeli-flag bikini; the two main singers playing poker in a retirement community; and then them again, rapping on a beach lined with skyscrapers. I thought, Wait, I know that place: Florida.