A Seder with delicacies for the Jews in Arad
Only a few days have elapsed since the end of Purim (the feast of joy and the very beautifully dressed up children), and we entered Pesach, the celebration of liberation from Egyptian slavery, an arduous process, with the vehement opposition of the pharaoh, and hence the many obstacles over which the Jews have gone through with the help of the divine.
The moment is often interpreted on several levels, both as individual liberation, for example getting rid of an addiction or overcoming a personal obstacle, as well as the freedom of all Jewry, and at the same time a turning point in the self-determination of the Jewish identity. Affiliation to this identity brought them together, in the evening of March 30, at the Jewish Community Seder.
Being Friday evening, it began with the Shabbat receiving prayers, led by rabbi Avraham Ehrenfeld, after which Ionel Schlesinger, the president of the Jewish Community talked about the meaning of Pesach and in what does the Pesach Seder (order) consist.
The „Hagada shel Pesach” text was the matrix for the first evening of this celebration, each participant being able to follow as the events unfold. Like at the Shabbat prayer, the beloved rabbi Ehrenfeld was the one who said every brohe or brahot, that is, blessing, and evoked in the collective memory the meaning of the ingredients on the ke’ara (the Pesah plateau).
Apart from that, the participants also consumed traditional beef soup with vegetables and matzos dumplings. The main course consisted of mashed potatoes, chicken thighs and a sour cherry sauce. The dessert was a cake based on matzos and an apple compote, praised as delicacies by many of those present.
The participants were also pleasantly impressed by the joviality of the hosts, who walked among the tables to share a good thought with everybody. “Both rabbi Ehrenfeld and president Ionel Schlesinger are good humorous people and use it at the right time,” says Ioan Szegő, one of the participants.
„Ma nishtanah” is perhaps the most famous text or song of Pesach made up of four questions addressed to adults by children about what and how it happens during the Seder. Now Eric and Robert Mor, 13-year-olds, have come to sing and ask the adults. “Last year we celebrated at home, but at the rabbi’s insistence we came here today to do the Seder. We are glad that this happened because we found a … avira, how do you say…, a very pleasant atmosphere in this community” recounts Boris Mor, the father of the two boys.
The key moment was when the rabbi was left without the Afikoman, the half piece of hidden azyme at the beginning of the Seder, a joyful role play in most of the Jewish communities in the world. It is that, this time, a valiant knight, from the Purim that just passed, saved the situation. The boy who gave back the Afikoman is called Mark Vizental, he is 9 years old and because his passion is riding, his gesture will be rewarded with a horsewhip from the Jewish Community of Arad. “Plus the rabbi’s blessing,” says Raoul Vizental, the boy’s father. “The community Seder has become a tradition for all of our family,” says Mr. Vizental.
Photo: Dana Kalman