All In One Meal

You can find almost every important Jewish value in one ceremony, the Passover seder:

1. The story: The story of our people — biblical, rabbinic and beyond — retold through the generations, always with new interpretations.

2. Food: When the prophet Elijah is stranded in the wilderness and an angel comes to comfort, what does the angel say? “Eat something!” (I Kings, 19:5). No Jew without food.

3. Children: The seder is taken from the past and points toward the future. It is a celebration with children always in mind, from the opening words to the closing song.

4. Prayer: Filled with prayer and praise of God, the “seder” recalls the “siddur,” the prayer book, which brings us to our next value:

5. Book: The meal is built around a book, because words, study and learning are the bedrock of our tradition.

6. Questions: Filled with questions, the seder reminds us how much there is to discover.

7. The land and the future. Always pointed toward Jerusalem and a better day, the seder leaves us with hope, and reassures us with faith.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @RabbiWolpe. His latest book is “David: The Divided Heart” (Yale University Press). 

About the Author
Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.