SEDER GUIDE (from the Frum Guide)
There are 4 cups of wine. Drink them all. Drink them all at once if you can. It is going to be a long night. There is a lot of Hebrew and it is in song form. Then all the people give their commentary, as there are four sons. Then people bring in other thoughts in what they call divrei torah (what are divrei torah, you apikores…if you do not know this…where they bring in more Hebrew). I call it filibuster. And they are stopping food from being served.
Pretend like you didn’t know that they were supposed to be drunk at different times. This is the only time in your frum life you should pretend not to know. Unless you use the kiruv card and pretend to be not religious for free stuff, always let people know that you know. And remember, if it makes no sense, it is your minhag (tradition you apikores, who has no minhag of knowing what to do).
When drinking, lean, so that you can spill on yourself. That is what kings used to do, and you are a king. Leaning is supposed to be comfortable. Even so, last year there was an excited Yeshiva Bachur sitting to my right, leaning on me. He was leaning over his chair, beyond excited, trying to stuff a whole matzah in his mouth without chewing, to fulfill all the time and size requirements of every rabbi. Hanging upside down, ‘Do I look like a king? I feel like a king. Are kings supposed to choke on their food? Upchuck?’ I am sure that kings did not lean on their guests and make them feel very uncomfortable.
The eating requirements in a short period of time are what makes a religious Jew. You have to stuff in the size of however many eggs before you can say, ‘Shalom Aleichem rabbi mori.’ It is something like this. I remember my parents force feeding me as a child. Dishing more food on my plate before I finished: ‘This is a mitzvah- shalom Aleichem rabbi mori…you are getting fat.
Conclusion: to look frum, force feed your children and guests.
Talk about how long your seder is. No matter what you did, or how non-Halachik it is, make sure that your seder went later.
Once the seder begins everybody becomes a rabbi. This is the part of the frum guide that is for decent enjoyable living as a frum Jew.
Advice on divrei Torah: Don’t give them at the seder. Just give a quick comment and let it move. You are excited to hear yourself. I understand. Nonetheless, we want to eat and no matter how much we have to pretend like we care, we could care less about how creative you can be with the 4 Sons. Is your son wicked, because he cannot stand hearing more Divrei Torah? No. He is normal and hungry and also doesn’t care much for salt water.
Hide the afikoman- this is the piece of matzah that is broken off. This makes for a lot of fun. It is ancient Jewish tradition that they couldn’t find the Matzah and as such children used to get electronics.
There is negotiating for a prize for whoever finds it. You can negotiate, but keep it low. No Xbox. You have an Xbox in your house, that is almost as bad as having internet. If you can get a censored Xbox, then that might be a decent gift.
The search for the afikoman comes late at night. The Afikoman is supposed to be the last thing you eat. So don’t show up to shule the next morning, jabbering about how you the seder went on for a good 5 hours, after you ate the Afikoman. I can care less how good of times harmonizing ChadGadYah can be to animal noises, you eat the afikoman and finish it.
The key is to not give into the kids. If you want to go to sleep, hold that in, and that will help the negotiations. Negotiating takes place by the business-minded child who does not like to have fun. This child insists on not looking for the Afikoman unless money is involved. Money, meaning something you can spend to have fun, meaning Asur (forbidden, you negligent Chametz purchasing Apikores). This is the wicked son, as he is trying to take your money. This same son is the one who wants to drive your car and get a license.
It is Asur to negotiate on Chag. This is a good lesson to teach your children, a lesson that can save you a lot of money.
Good places to hide the afikoman are the laundry –nobody would think to look there. Other places to hide it are in the car, as the car is muktzeh (stuff that is forbidden to touch- you michalel Shabbis Apikores).
You cannot be single and frum. I had the singles seder, where I had to hide the afikoman from myself. I felt like an idiot. I didn’t find it. I couldn’t buy myself the bike I wanted.
Last year, I went to my sister’s house, and that was not much better. I was the 5th question at the seder. ‘Why is Uncle D’ still single?’
The Mah Nishtana is always the most memorable part of the sedet. It is where the youngest one shows their parents that they do not remember the words, after going to Hebrew school for 8 years. The seder is about getting the children to ask questions and be interested. So, we have the young American children read it in Hebrew. Otherwise, with all the questions and Divrei Torah, it would take 8 hours till the meal. Interest only goes so far without internet access.
I have nephews and nieces that live in Israel, so they understand the questions now. That makes the seder much longer. Now that they understand it, the Mah Nishtana is a statement of discontent. ‘Yeah mom, why am I dunking in salt water? You know I hate it. Why do we lean like idiots? Did kings also choke on their food. Does David’s Chozer BTshuva friend have to lean on me too…Why the matzah? That is the bread of poverty- why is it $15 a slice? And why the wafers last Friday night? We are not Catholic. Why do we have to clean for all 30 nights? How many weeks of slavery do we have to celebrate to understand freedom? Why the 6 sprays? Why is my hand gone? Why did you not give me gloves to clean? Why is uncle D still single?’
Why is uncle D smacking you, you little yutz?
There are only supposed to be 4 questions, but being that questions are supposed to be the theme, more questions arise during the seder. For example, ‘We’ve been here for an hour and a half why are we not eating yet?’ ‘You know I am hungry, so why are you teasing me with parsley?’ ‘Why so many divrei Torah?’ ‘Where is the food? Yes I ask again.’
It is always important to put the youngest one on the spot. Make them feel very uncomfortable. Then coach them on how to do it. Then get angry at them for not getting the Mah Nishtana correctly. After a whole year in Gan/nursery school, they can’t even do this one thing they are expected to learn. The only time they have to perform. After the holiday, switch nursery schools. Remember that it is important to reprimand in public, and tell them to project, if you want them to be prepared for their Bar Mitzvah.
Questions you can ask during the Seder (those of your own):
Why are we not eating?
Why is the Dvar Torah going on?
Why are we not eating?
Why is my shirt stained?
Why am I sitting at the kids’ table?
Why is he still talking and why has he not finished the Dvar Torah?
Why is my stomach hurting and why is everybody Pesaching in my face?