Listening While the Matzah Breaks

To remember:

  • some new approaches to making our seder more spiritually meaningful > this essay = reflection upon that process at greatest night of Jewish storytelling
  • desire to better “hear” + “experience” story unfolding at seder table
  • as a people lost so much storytelling tradition, at least in the sense of the listener hearing deeply and allowing the story to draw them into altered states of consciousness or deeper awareness of their reality. 
  • simple changes made in the seder.
  • Saturday night after Shabbat > explore ways of making the seder more deeply meaningful
  1. breaking of the matzah should be a moment that opens us up spiritually + makes us “hear” Haggadah in a deeper way
  2. slowing up chanting of the brachot = way to deepen awareness of blessing + set stage for a more spiritual experience of the seder.
  • Rav Shmuel’s Shabbat HaGadol shuir explored act of reclining during seder, various commentary on it, rules around it, + spiritual reasons behind it.
  • Imrei Emet > exodus only an imperfect redemption => each generation + each person uncovers some new aspect of freedom, of perfecting the redemption
  • open our minds to the depth of the seder, > create possibility of spiritual experience in which we can uncover something.
  • spiritual one-ness = oneness of G-d  > interrelated system operating in balance producing beauty + wholeness => humans may strengthen or disrupt that unity => you can hear + hearken to G-d as One, + to the responsibility you assume for the world.
  • Rebbe Nachman’s reflection on the idea that each person must say:
  • “The entire world was created only for my sake.” (Sanhedrin, 37a) “Consequently, because the world was created for my sake, I must constantly look into and consider ways of making the world better; to provide what is missing in the world and pray on its behalf.” (Likutey Moharan 5:1) {Autumn Musings – Kayaks, Sukkahs, and Chuppahs}
  • We are instructed to immediately start building our sukkah as soon as the Yom Kippur fast ends. It seems that all the self-examination and repenting and striving needs to be for something. We may know ourselves better, but now we need to build – and quickly, so we don’t lose momentum. {Autumn Musings – Kayaks, Sukkahs, and Chuppahs}
  • Haggadah should be heard more than read = we should seek to hear something below the surface.
  • seven-day festival of Matzot becomes a festival of Pesach = “‘Bread of affliction’” (Devarim 15:3) (Pesachim 115b).
  • Pesach = moment when the finite world of the Israelites changed dramatically, opening up limitless possibility to them
  • liberation of Israel = act of love

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Preceding articles:

The Last Supper was a Passover meal

Thought for the third day of the Omer

Counting each day and making them count

Machine matzo produced from shmura wheat in Israel

Machine matzo produced from shmura wheat in Israel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional reading for this most important weekend of the year:

  1. Most important weekend of the year 2016
  2. 1 -15 Nisan
  3. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  4. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  5. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  6. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  7. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  8. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  9. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  10. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  11. Day of remembrance coming near
  12. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  13. Observance of a day to Remember
  14. Jesus memorial
  15. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  16. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  17. High Holidays not only for Israel
  18. White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
  19. First month of the year and predictions
  20. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  21. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  22. A Great Gift commemorated
  23. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  24. Passover and Liberation Theology
  25. Seven days of Passover
  26. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  27. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  28. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  29. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  30. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  31. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  32. Like grasshoppers
  33. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  34. Who Would You Rather Listen To?
  35. Focus on outward appearances
  36. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  37. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy

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Stumbling Toward Torah

Matzah breaking

By Rick Gwynallen

This year we tried some new approaches to making our seder more spiritually meaningful, and this essay is a reflection upon that process.  Most of these thoughts grew from a desire to better “hear” and “experience” the story unfolding at the seder table.  I feel like we have as a people lost so much storytelling tradition, at least in the sense of the listener hearing deeply and allowing the story to draw them into altered states of consciousness or deeper awareness of their reality.  Yet, this is the greatest night of Jewish storytelling and could also produce a deep experience of the story.

Usually ideas do not come out of nowhere.  They arise from experiences and and the sharing of thoughts.  There were a set of interactions and readings this year that fed into these reflections, and I should credit them right away.

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1 Comment

Filed under Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

One response to “Listening While the Matzah Breaks

  1. Pingback: Just One More Minute – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

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