Chag Sameach (Happy Passover)!
Passover begins tomorrow night and I know some of us are still collecting resources to help us feel connected to our traditions, intentions and communities. Here are some offerings from me and connections to the work of others that I recommend. And bonus: These offerings are not just for people who celebrate Passover. The core themes of this holiday are: moving from feeling trapped to feeling free, birth and rebirth, Spring, and Social Justice. There’s so much goodness here for all of us.
I am particularly excited to share this 7-minute video of “Sea Crossing in the New Paradigm,” which I channelled at a Kohenet Shabbat last June. I would love to hear how it resonates for you. The transcript is in the description of the video on YouTube. If you would like a copy of the transcript, comment or send me an email and I will happily provide!
Haggadot.com is an incredible design lab for the Jewish community. Using its online platform and the immense amount of user-uploaded content, you can create a custom-tailored Haggadah or just read and download the clips that resonate with you. You can also upload your own work for others to use.
Click here to access the art and poetry that I have contributed (and then explore all the incredible and diverse content!) I created these pieces to accompany chants in a workshop series I created while a student in the Pardes Experiential Educators Program in 2013.
Tomorrow night, I will be participating in Sharoni Sibony’s, online Speakeasy Seder. A week ago, she asked me to write a reflection for the theme “Moonshine”, connected to part of the Haggadah. I wrote this poem, thinking of the Sea Crossing (clearly my favourite part,) which some Jewish sages say happened at midnight:
We raise our glasses
Drunk on possibility
Full to the brim with history.
Shackles I slipped and abandoned
In the mud.
I have sipped my fill
I pour out my cup
On new earth
Leaving it invitingly empty
Ready to be filled up
Of green, new birth
A wide-open world
Round and shining
Outstretched arms and hands that catch me
Dance me In circles
Sing me psalms of hope today
And home tomorrow.
We raise our glasses
We are shining
We are full
We are alive and free.
Links to more good Passover stuff:
Here’s a robust thread on all things Passover related from Jewish&, a new program at the Miles Nadal JCC that explicitly gathers multi-faith and cross-cultural individuals, couples and families for Jewish exploration, education and celebration and is run by Lauren Schreiber Sasaki.
check out Lauren’s brave and articulate piece for 18Doors.com on being Asian-adjacent in a time of rising Anti-Asian racism. This is a Passover resource because this holiday’s story of systemic oppression is for all of us in every time. The Haggadah invites us to call out and act upon modern plagues and stand up for those who are oppressed in every generation.
I grew up singing Black American spirituals, like Go Down Moses, at my family’s Seders. This video, from the Union for Reform Judaism, featuring 5th year cantorial student, David Fair, really helped me understand how to appropriately acknowledge the history of this music. He shares the stories behind the songs and invites us to be respectful, activated, educated and connected if we choose to sing and share them. This was really important learning for me!
And for those who want to know more about this holiday and be entertained by the fabulously brilliant and multi-talented Mayim Bialik, check out this video from My Jewish Learning.
Sunday night kicks off a Jewish practice of “Counting the Omer”, the 7-week period from Passover to Shavuot. The Kohenet Virtual Temple offers a unique class, called Sex & the Sephirot, taught by Rav Kohenet Taya Shere, to support people of all genders on a journey to greater erotic presence.
Passover is my favourite holiday. I love the themes, the foods, the time to gather with loved ones for long conversations and lots of questions. I have a folder on my computer that is SO FULL of resources. This list above is just a couple of things that have helped and inspired me and those I love this year. If you want to know more about Passover or other Jewish holidays, feel free to reach out. I am confident that I can connect you with the resources you seek!
And even though I have lots of good resources, I can always use more. You can comment on Substack or reply to this email to share your favourites with me.
If any of these resources have been helpful or inspiring to you, you might also like my past posts, which include musings on the new paradigm, body positivity, Lilith, Angel blessings and more.
Thanks for getting all the way to the bottom of this email! May your Passover and/or journey into Spring be enlivened, connected and sweet.