I subscribe to The Jewish Week to be informed about the latest events, concerns and interests of our people. However, after reading Steve Lipman’s article, “The Tomato Finds Its Place On The Seder Plate” (March 30), I found myself saddened by the fact that too many of us choose to use the Passover seder as a forum for espousing our own personal agendas.
Have we become so assimilated that so many of us forgot or never knew the real purpose of the Exodus and the reason that we celebrate that event via our seders?
The Jewish people were in Egypt as part of God’s plan so that we would be redeemed to be a light unto the nations under the Kingship of God and to experience the revelation at Sinai in order to do so.
Some “modern” Jews have altered the traditional seder by placing bread (chametz) on the seder plate to express the “exclusion” of women and homosexuals from parts of the Jewish community? Artichokes as a symbol for interfaith families? The list goes on and on from oysters to olives to oranges depending upon the personal cause of the day.
If the aforementioned additional new items on the seder plate are supposed to be symbolic for individualistic desires to achieve a form of tikkun olam (repairing the world) — then so be it — but expressing these ideas at the seder table only waters down the meaning of the seder and does nothing to further or ameliorate personal concerns.
I strongly believe that children who are exposed to such individualistic and nontraditional seders will not be able to (or even desire to) pass down our rich Jewish heritage to their children or grandchildren as our ancestors did for thousands of years. In fact, most of them probably won’t have an adequate Jewish identity or education to even continue with any kind of seder for their own future families and friends.
East Hills, L.I.