Cantor’s Column – March 2021

Still Crossing the Sea after All These Years

Cantor Ilan Davidson

Passover has always been my favorite holiday. The family, the food, the music, and even the preparation and cleaning have always made me feel a sense of uplifted spirit and engagement. As a child, I would spend the month before Passover, preparing for the seder, studying the Hebrew, and hoping that this year, I would be able to cross the Sea with my family, fully engaged and participating with them.

As the years have progressed and technology has taken hold of our children’s lives, it has become more and more evident that if our children don’t come to the Sea, we have to bring the Sea to our children. Passover is our opportunity not only tell, but show our children the richness of our tradition, and how it continuously changes to remain relevant to each generation. We still cross the Sea every year. We are still freed from Egypt, each and every Passover. We still recount the plagues, and all that befell our people, and still remember that “WE were slaves in Egypt.” So how do we help the next generation understand that they are standing with us?

It all starts with getting outside the pages of the Haggadah, and bringing more to our table than just a recitation… we need to relive it, not just recite it. Bring dramatization, puppets, stories, songs, and videos into our seder. Yes, we need to bring the Sea of Reeds to our children, where they are. And where they are is in storybooks, goofy play, and on screens. So, I have my bag of plagues that jettison across the dinner table, I have my finger puppets about the four questions, we have coloring pages at the table, and today, we share videos. If you want to be inspired, ask “rabbi Google” to show you videos of “Passover Songs,” “Passover Parodies,” and “Creative Passover Seders.” It takes a little work and preparation, but all things worthwhile, especially transferring our tradition to the next generations, takes some time and effort. Rabbi and I are always available to provide some inspirational ideas, and if you want to see some amazing videos, join me during Cantor’s Corner, leading up to Passover, for the exciting videos and offerings that I can find to share.

May this year’s seder and future sedarim be filled with innovation, fun, technology, and ALL that we can find in our toolbox to bring the story of our redemption to life for our family, our children, our guests, and all who yearn to remember how our souls felt as we crossed the Sea to freedom.