Simpson College Interfaith hosts Seder meal


Photo submitted by Elise Tauer

by Paige O'Connor, Contributor


Our Seder is complete, the ritual fulfilled. Tonight we passed through ancient doors and made our way toward freedom. Nourished by story and song, we joined our ancestors in praise. Memory opened our hearts; hope was sweet upon our tongues. May we enter these doors again.

These words were spoken to finish the Seder ceremony Tuesday night in Hubbell Hall. The feast was served as 43 students and faculty participated in a traditional Jewish Seder meal.

Jewish individuals celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.

The festival starts during the first month of the Hebrew year called Nisan. The celebration lasts for eight days and aligns with the secular constellation months in March or April.

A traditional meal consists of six main symbolic foods: unleavened bread, bitter herbs, haroseth, a roasted egg, the shank bone of a lamb, and parsley. Each food item represents a part of Biblical history.

Simpson’s Seder meal consisted of a few of those components along with other symbolic foods. Wine, which had been substituted for grape juice in this case, is drank during a traditional meal. The process carries through for each person to finish four cups of wine before the ceremony ends.

Before dinner, each attendee was given a Haggadah: a book of songs, meal guidelines, Passover history, and Hebrew text. This allowed each person to participate by reading or singing along during the service. Heidi Berger, associate professor of mathematics, facilitated this event and guided people along during the meal.

Seder was hosted by RLC Interfaith. The Smith Chapel Interfaith interns for this event included Elise Tauer, James McKee and Travis Hurst.

“We did the advertising, made the name tags, ordered the Haggadahs, kept track of sign-ups and emails,” Tauer said. “We also set up everything with catering. It’s been a tradition for 10 years, roughly.”

Seder is a yearly event and seats fill up quickly. If you are interested in attending next year be sure to sign up

ASAP when the information is released. Questions about Seder or other RLC Interfaith events can be directed to [email protected].