Pesach In Pink – Welcome to my LGBTQ Seder Dinner
Celebrating the upcoming holiday, Pesach I dug in to my archives and pull and a classic for you: 3 years ago we celebrated an LGBTQ passover with friends, and told the story to Time Out Israel. Accompanied by daring illustrations from Asufa Design Shop‘s very alternative Haggadah, a (not so) traditional Jewish prayer booklet.
We all know that the story – Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery and the exile, and with the power of certainty they performed the greatest miracle of the history: splitting of the Red Sea. But spiritually Pesach is the time when we can all gain energy to let go of our own, and society built prisons. And while many people consider it as just a great opportunity for a big feast, the items on the Seder plate are charged with the positive energy of Pesach. These are traditionally the bitter herbs, a certain kind of jam, parsley, chicken neck, and boiled egg.
But in the early 1980s the more liberal and feminist Jews decided to create a new, revolutionary Seder dinner, placing an orange in the middle of the plate. And while Susannah Heschel, the Jewish scholar who began the custom, has explained: “The orange is a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews, including women and gay people.”, rumor has it that once upon a time after a Jewish feminist who was giving a speech about of gays and lesbian rights to study the Torah and to become rabbis, a stick-in-the-mud old rabbi confronted her, saying “you people have much place here as an orange had on the Seder plate”.
Our LGBTQ Seder plate combines the ancient story of the liberation of Jewish slaves with our day to day struggle of Jewish gay men and women who want to achieve equality.*
*A magyar nyelvű leírást keresd a bejegyzés végén.
If you ever arranged a posh fruit basket on the weekend and after no one touched it you had to witness how plums, peaches and pears are losing their juiciness and freshness if someone doesn’t care for them you can easily understand the message what putting a single orange on the Seder plate carries within: it’s the only fruit witch will be the same sweet and tasty after all the rest of the fruits gave up on life already. Finding love, finding the people who you can trust might take a while but in this process losing our essence is never an option.
Opening a coconut shell is not as easy as popping up a Lychee, but once you did it you can taste the fruit inside, tender and soft. This is how the life is for a closeted homosexual: keeping yourself in a dark, lonely place won’t bring sweetness into anyone’s world, not for your or your loved ones. This coconut only opens up with the magic words of honesty, and once this happens the rich juice – your true soul – is on it’s way to it’s well deserved liberation.
Cucumber dipped in vinegar and lemon
Hatred, bigotry, and homophobia are among us and sometimes we have to face them in the most unexpected situations: in a movie theater where you and your boyfriend are exposed to the comments some old hag, or traveling on a bus where someone gives you the evil eye just because you happen to wear skinny jeans. Taking a slice of cucumber soaked in sour cider vinegar and lemon reminds us that no matter how bitter and unpleasant these people can be we can deal with them, and we’ll never let them bring us down.
Isn’t it more exciting to have a spoon full of luscious fruit salad than biting into a single piece of banana? The mixed fruit on the LGBT Seder plates calls for acceptance and declares: the more colorful we, human beings are, the more shades our personalities have, the better life on Earth will taste. Sharing this around the table will make us all understand: if we chose keeping together over separation we’ll be able to grow into something greater than what we were as isolated souls.
A Bouquet of Flowers
As the flower surrounded by it’s protective and beautiful petals you are also surrounded by your friends, family and always caring brothers and sisters. Placing the flowers on the plate is helping us to awaken the gratefulness and gratitude. Wherever we go these people spread the petals of their love so we can always stay and will be protected by them.
Sticks and Stones
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” goes the phrase, and some of us did have to experience how those painful and shameful attacks can hurt us. Putting a stick and a stone on the gay Seder plate calls for remembering: many people suffered greatly because of the intolerance of our fellow human beings. While you are meditating on wishing love and light to all confused, hateful people you can also acknowledge: the pain might me bad but it can shape us, and must never scare us.
A Pészah 50 árnyalata? Naná! A blog legfrissebb bejegyzésében a közelgő zsidó ünnepről, a Pészahról mesélek – meglehetősen alternatív formában. Pénteken köszönt be a Széder este – és Izrael szerte mindenki hatalmas családi vacsorákkal ünnepli majd, hogy az Izraeliták kiszabadultak az egyiptomi rabságból. Az ünnep fontos kellékei a Széder-tál, amelynek hagyományos összetevőit néhány éve egy meleg zsidó közösség ideologiai alapon alaposan megváltoztatta – hogy észben tartsuk: ahogy az őseinknek, nekünk is meg kell küzdenünk a szabadságunkért, ezt pedig csakis teljes bizonyossággal érhetjük el. A másik elmaradhatatlan ünnepi kellék a Haggadah – egy ima könyv, amelyből végigénekeljük az izraeliták történetét. A blogon most belekukkanthatsz egy koránt sem tradicionális Haggadah-ba: a tel avivi Asufa – אסופה design üzlet évről évre kiadja a saját verzióját, népszerű izraeli illusztrátorokkal kollaborálva.
Happy (or shall I say, GAY) holidays to all, chag sameach! Follow me on Facebook for even more updates. *** Magyarnyelvű Facebook: itt. Részletesen a Pészah ünnepéről magyarul ebben az írásomban olvashatsz.