Last night was the second sedar in the Jewish tradition of Passover. This has always been a favorite holiday of mine. I like how communal and participatory this celebration of freedom and spring is.
Among the personal hi-lights of last night was a joyful account of a recent New York home birth and an interesting discussion about what would happen to birth rates with the recession (more on this later...)
My role in the sedar is to try to infuse the traditional telling of the Exodus story with bits of feminism. This is a great resource for some alternative traditions that you can bring to your table.
My favorite reading comes with explaining the inclusion of an orange on the Seder plate:
By Aggie Goldenholz and Susan Pittelman
And, there are those who add: The orange carries within itself the seeds of its own rebirth. When we went forth from the Narrow Place, Mitzrayim (Egypt), the Jewish people passed through a narrow birth canal and broke the waters of the Red Sea. As we women step forward to claim our full role in Judaism, we too can be full participants in a Jewish rebirth. Our place in Judaism will be as visible as the orange on our Seder plate.
And thus we were born into the world. The wisdom of women who were midwives, like Shifra and Puah, made that birth possible.
-From Our Community Women's Seder, Milwaukee, WI