On the traditional side, we sang traditional songs and I made matzoh balls (from a mix), and the charoses. This was not a veggie seder, as we have had in the past - I bought the entree from a gourmet market (delicious brisket and chicken) and people brought lots of side dishes - potato pancakes and more.
Passover recalls the exodus from Egypt. The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, meaning “a narrow place.” Each Passover, we have an opportunity to note our own current journey in life. We can acknowledge any narrow places we are stuck in – physically, emotionally or mentally - and we can welcome the wider spaces that we are transitioning into. Liberation and freedom are ongoing qualities of life.
We had used stones from our yard to hold down the 2-page Hagaddahs on each place setting (fans overhead had blown them about) so I used the stones in ceremony. We let the stone be our Mitzrayim, our narrow place, placing into it that which holds us back, and then we acknowledged moving through to liberation by tossing the stones back out into the yard!
We ended the evening with a reading from the Velveteen Rabbi's Passover Haggadah:
And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the earth
And then everywhere will be called
On a less fun note, an old friend of mine from when I studied Aikido and meditation in California, Marty Weiner, took leave of this life this past Saturday, by his own choice. I honored him too while playing Miriam's Song on my flute.