I couldn’t even tell you what’s actually in the Maxwell House Haggadah. There’s some talk about Rabbi Ezekial and Rabbi Eliazar and some other old Rabbis who offer some pretty fuzzy math about the number of plagues they were smote with in Egypt. I spend most of the night wondering when the matzoh balls will be ready and whether or not I’ll be earning more than $5 for finding the afikomen.
This year, I’m stepping up to the seder plate (sorry, but Passover puns are really hard to make). I’ll be hosting a seder that isn’t good to the last drop. Inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander’s The New American Haggadah, I too, am reinventing the seder.
Here are a few of my non-traditional seder ideas:
SOCIAL JUSTICE SEDER
- The historical accuracy of the Exodus story is pretty questionable, but the morals of the Passover story ring true today. Slavery still exists in the global economy, and the seder is a great opportunity to bring this issue, amongst others, to the table.
- What you’ll need: Any of these human or civil rights-themed haggadot, fair-trade food, and an open mind. Also, check out the DCJCC’s 5th Annual National Rainbow Seder with the Human Rights Campaign.
A SEDER OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
- Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, contributed the “Playground” portion to The New American Haggadah. As a big fan of the series when I was in high school in my childhood, I developed a love for Snicket’s dark humor and melodramatic tone.
- What you’ll need: The New American Haggadah, a theatre troupe made of evil henchmen, and plenty of horseradish.
- I wouldn’t remember anything about the Passover story if it wasn’t for “A Rugrats Passover.” (“It’s bitter herb, not bitter erb!”) Recreate the Rugrats retelling of the Exodus, but make sure not to close the door.
- What you’ll need: A copy of the Rugrats Passover special, homemade gefilte fish, and an attic door that locks from the inside.
- Ever notice how women are absent from the standard haggadah? Host a seder that the owners of Women & Women First Bookstore would be proud to attend.
- What you’ll need: A feminist haggadah (suggested: Ma’Yan), an orange for the seder plate, and comfortable shoes.
- Hipsters were into seders way before they were cool. They basically discovered the afikomen after seeing it that one time at that bar in Williamsburg.
- What you’ll need: A seder plate you found at a flea market, food from the Park Slope Co-op, and matzoh made with locally-sourced flour. You’ll have to skip the PBR tonight.