#blogExodus 6: Tell

#blogExodus 5775 topics“Tell me a story.”

That’s what we’re saying when we sit down at the Seder table and open up our haggadot. Whom are we asking to tell us that story, though? A Seder is not a recital, with a performer on stage and a quiescent, politely attentive audience there to listen only. Passivity has never been the watchword of the evening at any Passover Seder I have attended.

If we want to hear the story of our ancestors’ liberation from Mitzrayim, from their narrow places, we must listen to our own voices telling it. Sure, other guests will take turns reading this section or that aloud, in confident Hebrew or soft English, so our vocal cords don’t wear out before the last cup of wine and the final verse of “Chad Gadya.” Even when it’s not our turn to speak so the whole table can hear us, we could be as invested as if we are telling the tale. When it’s our turn to read a passage, we could try to hear our own voices with the anticipation of a child for her favorite bedtime story. We are tellers and listeners at every moment.

At the Seder, we are each of us asking something within ourselves to tell us a story, and that inner something obliges.


#blogExodus, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the weeks leading up to Passover through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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