A Seder Dream Of mine Is Coming True! All Is In “Order” – (Seder Means Order)

“How Wonderful It Is When Brothers Sit Together!” A Seder Dream Of mine Is Coming True!  All Is In “Order” – (Seder Means Order)

I love celebrations during which, people gather together and discuss history, talk about their lives.  My graduate degree was in Teaching History. Professor Hunt, I believe a brilliant man with great insight was head of the department.  He had a wonderful way of deciding if a historical report was fact, probability or possibility.  (I’ll talk about his point in my next post. I think the world could use the lesson he taught.)

For the past twenty years I’ve attended Unity services. Unity’s philosophies don’t conflict at all with my upbringing. I feel blessed to have been brought up with traditional yet open-minded spiritual thought. Each year we went to my maternal grandparent’s home for the first Seder. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents followed the Orthodox tradition, as did we. My mom’s dad – Grampa David – and my dad’s brother – my wonderful Uncle Arnie –  especially enjoyed having us question the meanings of everything and they wouldn’t just hammer an idea into us. I loved the discussions we’d have at Grampa David’s home.

I may have mentioned in a previous post that my Grandpa David Drechsler was a labor relations attorney while the New Deal was in progress.  He met with FDR several times to discuss labor questions and was truly admired and looked up to by wonderful Frances Perkins, who was FDR’s Secretary of Labor.  I’ll never forget the way she hugged me when she visited Cornell 50 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and realized I was his granddaughter.

My eyes are tearing as I type because I just realized today is the anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in NYC, which Ms. Perkins witnessed and wrote about.

Grampa David realized that the stories were written so future generations could appreciate their history and that I needed to realize that the stories were, most probably, added to or changed over the years. I later learned that the translations changed as the languages developed and when the writings were translated into English and other languages, who knows how close they were to what actually happened?

If I offend any of my more Orthodox Jewish friends now, please know that this is not my intention. Peace – not “giving in” so as not to make trouble – but true peace and understanding is my intention.

I was speaking with a wonderful friend, Jae French, whose sculptures are in famous museums around the world, grew up Jewish.  Her husband, John, is descendent from one of the founding families of America. His heart and mind allow him to perceive peoples’ greatness.  She mentioned that Muslims probably have had bad feelings about the Jewish tradition because of things like the Haggadah (the book used at the Seder) saying that “God” sent horrible plagues to the Egyptians because they wouldn’t let the Jewish people go.

After we’d spoken – whammo! – I remembered my Uncle Arnie, talking about the plagues! He felt that these were most likely occurrences of nature that happened either during the many years the Jews lived in Egypt or, perhaps, even during years after the Jewish people left Egypt. They may have had nothing to do with Jews being slaves and wanting to leave or about  Pharaoh being difficult. This is assuming the “plagues” actually happened. Locusts could have been blown in during a storm and darkness could have occurred due to an astrological event of a comet or planet or something blocking the sun for a longer than usual period. He said that the “killing of the first born” could have been an epidemic that affected children.

He and I both couldn’t believe that a God of Love  (be it an outside being or, as I’ve now come to understand,  a spirit that runs through each of us) would even think of killing all the first born children to punish the Egyptians for making a mistake even a huge one! Pushing Pharaoh off a cliff – maybe. Punishing the children for Pharaoh’s stupidity?  We didn’t think so!

At any rate, the discussions were always interesting- and we discuss things at our present day Seders too. My son is a Super Seder Leader. We like to have people from different faiths share the table with us. 7 out of 12 will be Jewish. Barbara Garshman, long time writer for The Guiding Light and Director of Development for NBC Prime Time East Coast will attend.  My son’s talented “Love Show” partner, Angela Harriell, who’s been at our Seder before, is Christian – as is wonderful Richard Skipper and his fabulous husband Dan. My dear friend Jae French’s husband grew up Christian and guest, Evan Laurence, has followed a Native American path. Evan’s mom Judy Negron is a noted mosaic artist. She and Evan are spiritual and had a Jewish background. I feel super blessed this year to be adding my brilliant neighbor, Noora Alsariaa to our table. At a young age she’s become a noted negotiator with the Iraqi Mission to the UN. She and I are convinced that the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths are really all the same at their heart. All faiths have the same beliefs at heart. If any seem to have portions that speak against another faith, those portions were probably added in when the leaders of one of the religions in question became frightened that something wasn’t going their way and that there wouldn’t be enough to go round.

The older I get the more I realize that Fear is the major thing that gets in the way of our having peace. If I can accomplish even a slight move toward peace and love for all backgrounds and ages on this planet, I’ll know that my stay here, this time, was worth it. I don’t care if that sounds “goody goody”.

I’m looking forward to this Seder.  As the prayer song, “Heenay Mah Tov” says, “HOW WONDERFUL IT IS WHEN BROTHERS SIT TOGETHER!”  At this Seder we’ll see that we’re all brothers.

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Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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