Monday, March 24, 2008

The Seder Meal

Our house church has a tradition on the Thursday before Easter to have a Passover Seder meal. We take this time to look at the symbolism from the Jewish Passover and reflect on its connection with Jesus' death and resurrection. karpas: "green vegetable," usually parsley, is used in the Seder meal. The greens are dipped in a small bowl of salt water, recalling the hyssop dipped for sprinkling on the door posts of Hebrew dwellings in preparation for the Exodus (Exodus 12:22).

beitzah: "roasted egg," in the Seder meal represents the burnt offerings brought to the Temple during festivals in ancient days; it also symbolizes the cycle of life, the endurance of God’s people and the hope for a future.

zeroah: "arm," the roasted shank bone of a lamb that is symbolic of the Passover lamb, both the lambs that were killed in Egypt for the first Passover, but also for the sacrificial lambs offered in the Temple to commemorate Passover.

Candles are the symbol of God's presence at the ceremony.
matzah; plural, matzot: "unleavened bread," dough made without yeast that bakes into a thin flat bread. Biblical tradition says that the Hebrews had to leave Egypt so quickly that they did not have time to let the bread rise so they made the dough without yeast or leaven. It is possible that they took the dough with them in kneading bowls and sun baked the bread on the hot rocks of the desert. There are various ways to transliterate this term. Today, Matzah is represented by flat cracker-like wafers. In the Passover Seder three Matzot are used, two representing the two loaves of bread that were placed in the Jerusalem Temple on festival days, plus an additional one for Passover.
This is a tradition that I really enjoy...we had Tessa on our lap for the whole thing so I wasn't able to focus as much as I would have liked. Oh well, at least she behaved. Kinda fun to think that this was her very first (of many) Seder meals and that she gets to grow up just like the little people grew up in Biblical times. :)


august said...

that awesome