Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reclining at the seder table

Have you ever wondered about the whole "tonight we recline" line in the haggadah?  These two self-described "text geeks" they decided to hold their seder last year in ancient fashion.
...formal meals during the classical rabbinic period were conducted in the format of the classical world. Diners reclined on couches to take the Meal of Freedom, in the manner of the aristocracy of the time.

Nowadays we sit up to table for the Meal like usual, but we “recline” by leaning on our elbows on the table just like our mothers always told us not to. Sometimes with cushions, which knock over glasses and bang into one’s neighbour.

Ever since I was told this, I’ve wanted to conduct a seder reclining, with couches, but that is hard when you are always a guest at someone else’s seder.

This year, however, planning seder with Mar Gavriel, I said “I’ve always wanted to make seder on couches,” and he, being similarly geeky and eccentric, bounced and said “Me too!”

So we did. We dismantled the dining table and made couches from mattresses. We draped many drapes, found tiny tables, arranged cushions upon which to recline, and presented a seder in Ancient Greek style.

Check out the full article at Jewschool.

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