For the past 25 years on Passover, my wife and I have hosted a first night Seder for our friends.
While the main attraction is often my spouse’s remarkable talents in the kitchen, for us it is about sharing the deep meaning of this festival with friends –- many of whom are not Jewish.
Our hope each year is to make the festival meaningful for others as it is for us, while permitting guests to bring their own special gifts and make beautiful contributions to our celebration. Each year we learn as much as we teach, and we expand our understanding of other religious traditions, as we get to teach about our own faith and share our joy at our festival of freedom.
While year in and year out we gain new friends at the table and miss the company of others, there are certain regulars without whom we could no longer imagine our first night seders. Chief among them are the Christian family that lives next door.
The parents moved here from Germany about 20 years ago, and with them are four children, two of whom are close in age to two of our three. The relationship has grown so close that we removed the fence that divided our backyards.
While they share Passover and Chanukah with us, we share Christmas with them.