Passover Unbound: Your Traditions

We've been getting such wonderful feedback from our Judaism Unbound podcast listeners lately, and we wanted to give some of them a chance to shine! So we invited our listeners to submit their most meaningful, most outside-the-box, and (occasionally) most whacky Passover rituals to us. Below you'll find some of our favorite submissions!


Contributed by Ruth, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

Contributed by Ruth, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

Ruth, Milwaukee, WI #1: Sometimes the thought of having your living room totally ransacked makes the Afikomen Hunt something to dread...instead of letting folks loose within the house, I have annually created an Afikomen Word Search Puzzle. I use different colors to highlight different letters in the puzzle. I highlight certain letters with one color. Those letters can be rearranged (unscrambled) to form a clue that says where the Afikomen is. It might read "Fireplace" or Curtains, or........ whatever. Teams of people work together on the word search and I have prizes for the group who find it!

Ruth, Milwaukee, WI #2: Have your kids (or designated adult) walk around the house and place small items in a bag. At some point during the meal have that person pass the bag around. Each person selects an item and details how that item played a role in the Passover story. For example, a remote-control might have been used by Moses to automatically part the sea! Or,a candle might have been used to shed light on the road they traveled. The more ridiculous the better! You would be amazed at how creative people can be when they are allowed to just make something up!

Seth, Baltimore, MD: We do two things that I think are unique..we start our seder in the living room (on one side of the house) while siting on blankets on the floor. When we tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we move everything over to the dining room. Everyone has to carry something! We then continue the Seder from the dining room. We also have never used parsley or leafy green for karpas. We use potato. Even though the tradition comes from Poland (or so my family believes) my ancestors are not from Poland! Mostly Russia and Lithuania.

Image Credit: Esquire.com

Image Credit: Esquire.com

Beth, Greensboro, NC: We start with Bloody Niles (otherwise known as bloody Mary's)! I also serve watermelon, cucumbers, and scallions after we say the adamah bracha (blessing over the karpas/vegetable) as a nod to the Israelites complaints to Moses in BaMidbar. Good flavors and prompts questions...

Guy, Prague, Czech Republic: Guy, a Judaism Unbound listener living in the Czech Republic, has a bone to pick with the way we discuss the "Four Children" during the Passover Seder! In particular, he wants to push us to think differently about the Wise Child and the Wicked Child. Dive deeper into Guy's thoughts by clicking here -- we promise you won't regret it. His reflections may prove to be a great conversation-starter at your Seder!

Peter, Lake Worth, FL: We write (rewrite) our entire family hagaddah each year. I research the latest and greatest ideas, find cool insights and add them. We also always play Passover bingo or Jewpardy (Jewish-themed Jeopardy!).

Image Credit: Imgur User JohnCalvinAndThomasHobbes

Image Credit: Imgur User JohnCalvinAndThomasHobbes

Michele: My family plays the "egg game" before eating the meal. Everyone gets a hard boiled egg. One person holds the egg with their hand wrapped around the middle, exposing the top or bottom. Another person uses their egg to tap the first person's egg. One of the eggs will crack when they are tapped. You are out when the top AND bottom of your egg is cracked. Everyone keeps going around and tapping eggs with the other Seder guests until only one person is left with an uncracked side of their egg and that person is the winner.

Solomon, New York, NY: Are you looking for a way to connect your Seder to themes of Social Justice? Solomon, a listener from New York City, has created a wonderful four questions supplement that you can use, entitled "Four Questions on Modern Liberation and Solidarity." Access it by clicking here.

Beth, Nesconset, NY: Each year, every person at the seder signs in the inside of their Haggadah. Over the years, you can look back and see who shared your seder table!

Jane, Baton Rouge, LA:  I have a 4.5 year old who is getting interested in Star Wars. He hasn't seen the movies, but knows the characters. So I'm seriously considering doing a "Darth Seder" We can talk about how Luke was an orphan who grew up to be a hero. Luke had an important sister in Leia, just as Moses had Miriam. Luke's mother was a powerful woman and anti-war activist, and Moses' mother worked against Pharoah's cruel decrees. Darth Vader and Palpatine are on the dark side, like Pharoah. We must always choose the the side of good. Plus, we can have Wookie macaroons!