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Elijah's Hometown (Seder) Visit
By ISJL Education Fellow Carly Abramson
Narrator: This week on The Bachelor, we see the most dramatic hometown visit yet. Elijah sits through a Passover seder that you won’t want to miss
(cue family montage)
Narrator: Elijah heads south to meet Amber’s family for the first time. As they anxiously await for his arrival, Amber’s mom pours a glass of wine for Elijah. The doorbell rings and Elijah is welcomed in with open arms.
Amber’s Mom: Look at that punim! I cannot believe my daughter is dating a prophet! (Amber’s mom pinches his cheeks.) Now I know that you’ve been to a million seders before, but I can assure you that you have never been to one quite like ours.
Narrator: It didn’t take Elijah long to realize that she was not exaggerating. For starters, the haggadah they were using looked like a family photo album. By the curious look on Elijah’s face, Amber decided to provide an explanation.
Amber: Every year, my mom asks the whole family to send her photos of us from the past year. She puts them into our Haggadah to fit our narrative into the story of Passover. It helps us to appreciate the freedom that God granted our ancestors and to remind us of how far we have come.
Narrator: By the look on Elijah’s face, it was clear that sparks were flying. He was completely mesmerized by the way Amber’s family captured the story of Passover through their own lens. As the seder continued, Elijah learned more and more about Amber and her family. They were not jumping ahead in their haggadah or rushing through any of the songs- they were truly embracing every step of the seder.
Elijah: This is so refreshing to see! Oftentimes, I see families hurrying through the seder so they can “eat already,” but y’all seem to be fully present and not distracted at all by what’s in the kitchen.
Amber’s Mom: (smiles) Well, I’ll tell you a little secret: We were not always this “present,” as you say. A few years ago, I finally put an end to my children's daydreaming as their father would read from the haggadah. In truth, none of us were engaged—not even their father—because we could never fully grasp the words we would read. The story of Passover just seemed so removed from us. So one day I sought out to bring us closer to it. I did not want to change the rituals that our ancestors passed down, instead I simply wanted to change the conversation surrounding them. (Motions towards the parsley.) For instance, when we dip the parsley in salt water, I still want to acknowledge the reason behind this custom while connecting this tradition to my family. I do so by asking my family to discuss a hardship they faced this year and what they gained from it. This is only one of many moments throughout the seder that invites relevant conversation around the table. Facilitating these conversations is a minor yet effective method in bridging the gap between our ancestors and ourselves.
(Montage of Amber’s cousin finding the afikoman, everyone laughing hysterically while holding their fourth cup of wine, Amber helping her mom clear the table, Elijah hugging the family goodbye.)
Narrator: Elijah walked away from this hometown visit feeling like part of the family… but will this family-oriented seder win over Elijah’s heart? It’s no secret that Elijah is notorious for seder hopping, yet there’s no denying that he saw something special about this seder.
Elijah: Amber’s family hosted a seder that undoubtedly reflected who they are as individuals and as a family. They shared their family quirks, stories, and experiences through the story of Passover. And having the photo album haggadah was certainly a nice touch.
Narrator: I think it’s safe to say that Elijah’s perspective of Amber wasn’t the only thing that changed during dinner. He discovered that the story of Passover does not end with the freeing of the Israelites, but it continues through us.
(Post-credits scene displays.)
Narrator: If you want to bring your family into the seder like Amber’s, check out https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-seder-plate/ to learn more about the foods on your seder plate. Understanding their meaning will help you draw connections between your family and the traditions of Passover. From there, you can come up with discussion points to have during the seder. Incorporating your family’s personality into the seder allows you to understand the holiday in a more meaningful and personal way.