Heart’s Delight-Islington woman hosting Jewish Seder
Do you know what a Seder is? A Trinity South woman is holding one next week and you’re invited. To find out all about it turn to our Trinity South page.
If you want to celebrate the beginning of Passover or are interested in learning about a different culture you should drop by Shaeina Lerman’s home next Monday, March 29.
Lerman, a resident of Heart’s Delight-Islington and a Jew, is hosting a Seder beginning at 6 p.m.
The event, a Jewish ritual feast, marks the beginning of the seven-day festival of Passover and commemorates the Jewish slaves exodus from Egypt.
“It’s a time to remember the slaves being lead out of Egypt by Moses,” explains Lerman. “It’s a religious time, but it is also a time of praise, thanksgiving and reflection about the importance of freedom.”
Lerman, who grew up in the states and moved to Canada in 1971, says Seder was always a big celebration in her home.
“It is just as big of a deal for us Jews as Christmas is for people of other religions,” she said. “A lot of cleaning and cooking takes place. A Jewish house is prepared the same way as others would prepare for Christmas. It’s a busy time for women.”
The Seder, held between the middle of March and the end of April each year, is based on the Gregorian calendar.
“It’s a spring holiday that is determined by
“Anyone who wants to drop by is more than welcome. You do not have to be Jewish to celebrate Seder. The message of freedom is something no one, no
matter what their religion should take for granted.”
— Shaeina Lerman, Heart’s Delight-Islington
the Hebrew Calendar, but like Easter and Good Friday, it gets moved around year to year,” Lerman explained.
While many Jewish holidays revolve around the synagogue, the Seder is conducted in the family home, which is open to guests, especially strangers and the needy.
“ Jewish families come together and friends and guests are invited as well,” says Lerman. “Sharing the occasion with guests is really the whole point of the holiday.”
On March 29 Lerman hopes to have a full house.
“ If there are any Jewish people in the area they are more than welcome to celebrate Seder with me,” she says. The same invitation is extended to others. “Anyone who wants to drop by is more than welcome. You do not have to be Jewish to celebrate Seder. The message of freedom is something no one, no matter what their religion should take for granted.”
The word Seder comes from the Hebrew verb which means to put in order.
“And that’s what happens during Seder.... everything is put in order,” says Lerman.
The rules surrounding the Passover Seder are strict and many, with only special foods, utensils, and dishware allowed.
“ We eat a lot of kosher foods that have symbolic meanings attached to them,” says Lerman.
Leavened bread (containing yeast) and grains are replaced with Matzah - a cracker like flatbread made of plain water and flour.
“ This is to commemorates the time when the Jewish slaves fled quickly into the desert with no time for their bread to rise and were forced to bake the dough into hard crackers in the desert sun,” she explains.
Lerman also plans on serving charoset - a sweet, dark-colored, lumpy paste made of fruits and nuts and cinnamon.
“Its colour and texture represents the mortar which the Jewish slaves used to bond the bricks when they were held captive in ancient Egypt.”
To commemorate the occasion Lerman will read from the Haggadah - a Jewish religious text that sets out the order of the Passover Seder. Reading the Haggadah is a fulfilment of the scriptural commandment to each Jew to “ tell your son” about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Book of Exodus in the Torah. (“And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt Exodus 13: 8). The event also includes special Passover songs, rituals and blessings.
Share in culture
Although Seder is a widespread Jewish custom, people of all denominations are welcome.
“ This is the second time I’ve held a Seder in Heart’s Delight-Islington and all those who have attended in the past were not disappointed,” says Lerman who moved to the Trinity South town two years ago. “I’m not trying to get people to convert to Judaism or anything like that. The people here in the area have been very kind to me and even though I don’t celebrate Christmas I always get invited out during that happy holiday because after all no one wants to be left out when there’s a party taking place. Seder is also a happy occasion. I’m just hoping others will help me celebrate it and share in my culture. If they’re interested in attending, I live on the main road in Heart’s Delight-Islington and my number is 588-2990.”
BROWNIES - Members of the 2nd Woodland Sparks group help Salvation Army Caption Chris Pilgrim restock the food bank shelves at the Salvation Army Trinity Bay South Corps in Dildo. The group along with the 1st Woodland Girl Guides and Brownies raised 260 pounds of food, more than double what they had anticipated. However it isn’t the first time the group exceeded a goal. Last year they raised enough money to buy 60 instead of 40 mosquitoes nets for Africa.
CHEERFUL GIVERS - The 1st Woodland Girl Guides, 1st Woodland Brownies and 2nd Woodland Sparks group and their leaders present Captain Chris Pilgrim of the Salvation Army Trinity Bay South Corps with 260 pounds of food. The food drive, the Eradicate Hunger and Poverty Challenge, is one of many activities planned this year to acknowledge the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Girl Guides of Canada.
GETTING READY - Shaeina Lerman reads from the Haggadah in preparation for Seder, a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover and commemorates the Jewish slaves exodus from Egypt. Lerman, who is hosting a Seder at her home in Heart’s Delight-Islington March 29, is hoping Jews and Christians will drop by to help her celebrate.