Date of Event: April 09, 2013
by Samantha Long
Last night the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo hosted their annual interfaith Seder, which is recognized as one of the largest in the United States. Members of varying local religious communities, including Muslims, Christians, and Sikh’s joined the local Jewish community in celebrating Passover at Temple Beth Zion .
The Seder or “order” in Hebrew is a Jewish ritual that traditionally marks the start of the holiday Passover, although this particular Seder was held at the conclusion of Passover. The ritual retells the story of the freeing of the Israelites in ancient Egypt, found in Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. The ritual involves prayer, singing, eating of symbolic foods and drinking four cups of wine which represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God in Exodus. The main object of Seder is to retell the story of Exodus to one’s children and so the event has a heavy focus on children and family.
The evening began with some words from David H. Desmon, President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, and a candle lighting. Prayers throughout the ritual were led by members of the various religious communities in attendance. As the prayers were recited the foods of the Seder plate were passed around each table. Each food on the Seder plate represents an aspect of the theme of slavery and freedom. After the ritual itself was complete a dinner of chicken, potatoes, vegetables and stuffing made with Matza was enjoyed and a scavenger hunt was held for the children.
It was a great event and wonderful to see so many people from so many different b backgrounds and religions come together to take part in the Jewish Ritual.