Tuesday, April 22, 2014
S: Seder (A-Z Blog Challenge: Evocative words)
Although I identify strongly with my Jewish heritage, I wasn't raised in the traditions of the faith. Observations of holy days and traditions . . . well, it's something I'm putting together as I go, trying to figure out what parts are important to me and which are not.
I've struggled in particular with the Passover Seder. It's one of the more specific and prescriptive holy days, with rules and expectations about what will be done. While I've found my own way to observe other holy days like Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Hannukah, I haven't found my way through this one.
In part, it's a problem with my work-life. Living a Jewish life is difficult when you work on a Christian calender. I can only take so many unpaid days without failing in my financial responsibility to my family. This time of year is high pressure at school, our last chance to make a difference for our students before they face the trials of state testing. It's not a good time to miss school and hand my students to a substitute (not that there ever really is a good time for that). This makes it hard to prepare properly.
A Passover Seder is like a Thanksgiving dinner in a way. You can really build up a lot of pressure (even if it's all in your own mind) to do it "right." Because I don't feel I can do it right, I often don't do anything at all, even though that also feels wrong.
It's a great narrative, and the wonderful, deep and resonant stories are part of what draw me to this part of my heritage in the first place.It's a celebration of survival and freedom, and a lesson in our responsibilities to the world. It's a parable and a history all at once.
This year I am still the simple son. Maybe next year I will find my way.
This post is part of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.