All your questions for Naomi Adler, Esq., answered! This week’s question:
What is your favorite Passover tradition?
My favorite Passover tradition is the Seder, of course — one my favorite Jewish traditions, period. That makes me just like most American Jews, for whom the Seder is the most beloved of all Jewish customs. It’s true. A 2013 Pew Research Study of Jewish Americans found that in the previous year, while only 23% had attended religious services at least once a month and 53% had fasted for part or all of Yom Kippur, a whopping 70% had attended a Seder. That figure even included 42% of Jews who identified as having “no religion” in their lives. All in all, it makes the Passover Seder by far the most commonly practiced Jewish ritual in America.
I imagine people love it for the same reasons I do: Because it’s about connecting with people you love and appreciate, and about retelling a story that is so core to our identity, a story of slavery and freedom, of oppression and liberation. It’s a struggle that still rages every day, in every corner of our world. Around the Passover table, as we take comfort in our loved ones and in age-old rituals — including the ultimate comfort food, matzoh ball soup — we restore ourselves with reminders of our foundations, remember anew our obligations to others in need, and emerge with a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.